2022 NBA Draft: Top prospects in the Pac-12

2022 NBA Draft: Top prospects in the Pac-12

With the 2021-22 basketball season upon us, we will be highlighting prospects currently included in our 2022 NBA Draft Big Board over the course of the next few weeks.

Earlier this week, we dove into the Big 12. Last week, we looked at the Big Ten and the ACC. Today, we'll break down the top NBA prospects from the Pac 12:

Peyton Watson

Guard/Forward | UCLA

Height: 6-8         Class: Freshman
Weight: 200        Draft Day Age: 19.8
Wingspan: 7-0    Nationality: USA

Roles: Point Forward, Defender, High-Flyer

Bottom Line: At 6-foot-8, and possessing a 7-foot wingspan and guard skills, Peyton Watson enters his freshman season at UCLA as a highly anticipated prospect. Even though he still has room to develop, Watson brings great versatility on both sides of the floor. He's also comfortable with the ball in his hands and initiating the offense. On defense, he's shown real promise as a shot-blocker with his length and athleticism. All in all, he has great potential. If he's able to tap into that potential, he'll likely be drafted high in the 2022 NBA Draft.

Bennedict Mathurin

Guard/Forward | Arizona

Height: 6-6         Class: Sophomore
Weight: 210       Draft Day Age: 20.0
Wingspan: 6-9   Nationality: Canada

Roles: Three-Level Scorer, Defender, High-Flyer

Bottom Line: After a strong freshman campaign for the Arizona Wildcats, Bennedict Mathurin is expected to make a big jump in his second year in Tucson. Mathurin's size, athleticism defense and shot-making ability make him an intriguing NBA prospect. Standing at 6-foot-7 and 195 pounds, he is an explosive athlete who is capable as a slasher and finisher. Mathurin will have the opportunity this season to solidy himself as one of the best wings in the 2022 NBA Draft. 

Marcus Bagley

Forward | Arizona State

Height: 6-8          Class: Sophomore
Weight: 215         Draft Day Age: 20.7
Wingspan: 6-11   Nationality: USA

Roles: Stretch-4, Defender, Rebounder

Bottom Line: The younger brother of NBA forward Marvin Bagley III, Marcus Bagley projects to be a stretch-4 due to his physicality as well as his outside shooting and rebounding abilities. After testing the waters and attending the 2021 NBA Draft Combine, Bagley decided to return to Arizona State for his sophomore season. If he's able to continue to lean on his strengths, while also showing improvement as a playmaker and passer, he could become a viable option for teams selecting in the first round of the 2022 NBA Draft.

Jaime Jaquez Jr.

Forward | UCLA

Height: 6-7         Class: Junior
Weight: 225        Draft Day Age: 21.3
Wingspan: 6-9    Nationality: Mexico, USA

Roles: Shooter, Wing-Initiator, Glue Guy

Bottom Line: Jaime Jaquez Jr. is incredibly intelligent and crafty, using defensive manipulation and footwork to create for both himself and others. He excels in the post against smaller defenders, and can stretch the floor as was shown last season when he shot 39% from three-point range. Jaquez is a hard-nosed competitor, and is an adequate defender and rebounder. If he's able to build off of the momentum that he established last March during UCLA's impressive tournament run, he could find himself becoming a potential first round pick.

Johnny Juzang

Guard/Forward | UCLA

Height: 6-7          Class: Junior
Weight: 215        Draft Day Age: 21.3
Wingspan: 6-11   Nationality: USA

Roles: Shooter, Scorer, Wing-Initiator

Bottom Line: After a stellar NCAA Tournament run, Johnny Juzang tested NBA Draft waters, but ultimately decided to return to UCLA for his junior season. At 6-foot-7 he is an exceptional outside shooter, especially off the dribble in the half-court. Last season, Juzang averaged 16 points per game while shooting 35.3% from three-point range. If he continues to improve, he could be in consideration as a first-round pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.

Jabari Walker

Forward | Colorado

Height: 6-9         Class: Sophomore
Weight: 215        Draft Day Age: 19.1
Wingspan: 7-0    Nationality: USA

Roles: Stretch-4, Defender

Bottom Line: At 6-foot-9, Jabari Walker connected on 53.2% of his shots from three-point range last year, although on low volume (23-of-44). He excels as a shooter — both on the move and standstill. Walker is also a solid rebounder and adequate defender with a high basketball IQ. If he shoots the way he is capable of and makes the next steps in his development, he could be a highly coveted prospect in the 2022 NBA Draft. Also worth noting, Jabari is the son of former NBA player, Samaki Walker.

Isaiah Mobley

Forward | USC

Height: 6-10         Class: Junior
Weight: 240         Draft Day Age: 22.7
Wingspan: 7-3     Nationality: USA

Roles: Stretch Big, Rebounder, Point-Forward

Bottom Line: A highly intelligent player, Isaiah Mobley is a strong rebounder at 6-foot-10, and has shown the ability to score the ball effectively — both inside and out. He has tremendous touch at the rim, and he flashed the ability to stretch the floor last season by hitting 43.6% of his shots from three-point range on low volume (17-of-39). Mobley lacks elite athleticism and will be close to 23 years old on draft night, but his promise as a passer and floor-spacer make him an intriguing prospect, nonetheless. 

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