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NBA Mock Draft 2022: Washington high school stars Paolo Banchero, Tari Eason both going to Houston Rockets?

Sports Illustrated's most recent mock has former Seattle high school foes Paolo Banchero and Tari Eason going in the first round to the same team.
Photo by Vince Miller

Photo by Vince Miller

Paolo Banchero and Tari Eason had some epic battles on high school basketball courts in Washington, and if Sports Illustrated got it right, they'll be playing together in the NBA.

The Houston Rockets have three first-round picks, and Sports Illustrated writer Jeremy Woo has them taking Banchero (O'Dea High School in Seattle) and Eason (Garfield High School in Seattle) with their first two picks.

While Washington has ties to three former high school stars that could go in the first round - Marjon Beauchamp is the third - Indiana and Arizona lead all states with four former prep stars that could get picked in the first round.

The 2022 NBA Draft starts at 5 p.m. Pacific time Thursday.

Here's a look at Woo's projected first round, with a capsule on each player's high school (or international) career.

1. Magic: Jabari Smith Jr., F, Sandy Creek High School (Georgia)

Auburn | Height: 6' 10" | Weight: 220 | Age: 19 | Freshman

The McDonald's All-American led Sandy Creek to a state runner-up finish in 2020-21 after averaging 23.4 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3.2 steals and 2.5 blocks per game during his senior season. He went to Auburn ranked No. 6 nationally by 247 Sports, ESPN and Rivals.

2. Thunder: Chet Holmgren, F/C, Minnehaha Academy (Minnesota)

Gonzaga | Height: 7' 0" | Weight: 190 | Age: 20 | Freshman

The Gatorade National Player of the Year and McDonald's All-American was the top-ranked recruit in the Class of 2021 by ESPN and 247 Sports. Holmgren finished his prep career with 1,567 points, 964 rebounds and 456 blocked shots while helping Minnehaha Academy rack up a 128-15 record.

3. Rockets: Paolo Banchero, F, O'Dea High School (Washington)

Duke | Height: 6' 10" | Weight: 250 | Age: 19 | Freshman

His name has been appearing in 2022 mock drafts since he was in high school, when he was a McDonald's All-American and consensus top-5 recruit in the country, checking in at No. 2 for Rivals and 247 Sports and No. 4 per ESPN. He led O'Dea to the Class 3A Washington state championship as a sophomore.

4. Kings: Keegan Murray, F, Prairie High School (Iowa)

Iowa | Height: 6' 8" | Weight: 215 | Age: 21 | Sophomore

After graduating from Prairie High School in 2019, Murray spent a post-graduate year at DME Sports Academy in Florida before going back to Iowa for college. The four-year honor roll student at Prairie was a three-year letter winner in golf and averaged 20.3 points and 7.2 rebounds per game as a senior.

5. Pistons: Jaden Ivey, G, La Lumiere School (Indiana)

Purdue | Height: 6' 4" | Weight: 200 | Age: 20 | Sophomore

Ivey started his high school career at Marian and finished at La Lumiere, averaging over 15 points a game playing an elite schedule in his one year there. At Marian he scored 958 career points and averaged over 25 points per game as a junior.

6. Pacers: Bennedict Mathurin, SG, Canada

Arizona | Height: 6' 6" | Weight: 210 | Age: 19 | Sophomore

The Montreal native grew up playing football and ice hockey but joined the NBA Academy Latin America in Mexico City, becoming its first Canadian-born player. He committed to Arizona as the top Canadian prospect in his class.

7. Trail Blazers: Dyson Daniels, G/F, Australia

G League Ignite | Height: 6' 6" | Weight: 200 | Age: 19

Daniels starred in Australian rules football and basketball growing up in Victoria, Australia. He signed with the G League via the NBA Global Academy in Canberra.

8. Pelicans (from Lakers): Shaedon Sharpe, SG, Dream City Christian Academy (Arizona)

Kentucky | Height: 6' 5" | Weight: 200 | Age: 19 | Freshman

Sharpe enrolled at Kentucky a semester early as the No. 1 overall prospect in the 2022 class by ESPN, Rivals and 247Sports. He began his high school career at H.B. Beal Secondary School in his Canadian hometown and led his team to the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations Championship. As a junior at Dream City Christian Academy he averaged 24.1 points and six rebounds per game.

9. Spurs: Ousmane Dieng, F, France

New Zealand Breakers | Height: 6' 9" | Weight: 185 | Age: 19

Dieng became the first European player to join the NBA's Next Stars program to develop draft prospects. He was recruited by several major college basketball programs but elected to play for the New Zealand Breakers in preparation for the NBA.

10. Wizards: Johnny Davis, SG, La Crosse Central High School (Wisconsin)

Wisconsin | Height: 6' 4" | Weight: 195 | Age: 20 | Sophomore

Named 2020 Wisconsin Mr. Basketball and a McDonald's All-American, Davis finished his high school career as La Crosse Central's all-time leading scorer with 2,158 points. He also was a first-team all-state starter at quarterback, passing for 6,572 yards and 56 touchdowns, while rushing for more than 2,000 yards and scoring another 34 touchdowns on the ground.

11. Knicks: Jalen Duren, C, Montverde Academy (Florida)

Memphis | Height: 6' 11" | Weight: 250 | Age: 18 | Freshman

Duren helped Montverde to the 2021 High School Nationals championship and averaged 14.5 points and 9.3 rebounds per game while shooting 62.9% from the field as a junior. After reclassifying to the Class of 2021, Rivals ranked him the No. 1 prospect in the nation.

12. Thunder (from Clippers): Jeremy Sochan, F, La Lumiere School (Indiana)

Baylor | Height: 6' 8" | Weight: 220 | Age: 18 | Freshman

Sochan is as well-traveled as they come. Born in Oklahoma and raised mostly in Southampton, England, Sochan attended Orange Academy in Germany and has competed for the Polish national team. He played his junior year of high school for La Lumiere before returning to Europe as a senior because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

13. Hornets: A.J. Griffin, G/F, Archbishop Stepinac (New York)

Duke | Height: 6' 6" | Weight: 220 | Age: 18 | Freshman

Griffin missed his senior year with an ankle injury, but his two-plus years at Archbishop Stepinac were good enough to make him a five-star recruit. He led Stepinac to the CHSAA Archdiocesan title alongside his older brother Alan as a freshman and again as a junior, though he missed much of that season with a knee injury.

14. Cavaliers: Jalen Williams, G/F, Perry High School (Arizona)

Santa Clara | Height: 6' 6" | Weight: 210 | Age: 21 | Junior

Williams grew 8 inches from his sophomore to his senior year of high school and left Perry as 247Sports' No. 9-ranked prospect in Arizona after averaging over 25 points per game as a senior. Now he's poised to become the first Santa Clara player to be drafted since Steve Nash in 1996.

15. Hornets (from Pelicans): Mark Williams, C, IMG Academy (Florida)

Duke | Height: 7' 2” | Weight: 240 | Age: 20 | Sophomore

The 2020 McDonald's All-American played three years at Norfolk Academy in Virginia before transferring to IMG Academy for his senior season. ESPN ranked the big man as the No. 30 overall prospect in the country in the Class of 2020.

16. Hawks: Malaki Branham, SG, St. Vincent-St. Mary (Ohio)

Ohio State | Height: 6' 5" | Weight: 180 | Age: 19 | Freshman

Branham in 2021 became the first St. Vincent-St. Mary player since LeBron James to be named Ohio Mr. Basketball. The two-time state champion (2018, 2021) scored 1,501 career points at STVM, averaging 21.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.8 steals per game as a senior.

17. Rockets (from Nets): Tari Eason, F, Garfield High School (Washington)

LSU | Height: 6' 8" Weight: 215 | Age: 21 | Sophomore

Eason led Garfield to 3A state championships in both of his years at Garfield, including a 69-44 win over junior Paolo Banchero and O'Dea in the title game as a senior. If this mock draft rings true, the pair will reunite as NBA teammates. Eason was named SBLive's 2020 Player of the Year in Class 3A.

18. Bulls: Ochai Agbaji, SG, Oak Park High School (Missouri)

Kansas | Height: 6' 5" | Weight: 215 | Age: 22 | Senior

Agbaji guided Oak Park to a 23-3 record in 2017-18 and its conference title, averaging 27.6 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. He also played soccer in high school and was ranked as a three-star recruit by 247Sports and Rivals entering college.

19. Timberwolves: Wendell Moore, G/F, Cox Mill High School (North Carolina)

Duke | Height: 6' 5" | Weight: 215 | Age: 20 | Junior

Moore chose Duke as the top-rated player in the North Carolina in the Class of 2019, leaving Cox Mill with over 2,000 career points. As a senior he averaged 25 points and 2.3 steals per game to help Cox Mill win its second straight 3A state title.

20. Spurs (from Raptors): Blake Wesley, G, Riley High School (Indiana)

Notre Dame | Height: 6' 5" | Weight: 185 | Age: 19 | Freshman

Wesley became the first South Bend public school men’s basketball player to sign with Notre Dame since LaSalle's Michael Smith in 1985. The 2021 McDonald's All-American finished his high school career with 1,496 points, averaging 27.1 points per game as a senior at Riley.

21. Nuggets: Jake LaRavia, F, Lawrence Central High School (Indiana)

Wake Forest | Height: 6' 8" | Weight: 235 | Age: 20 | Junior

LaRavia had a breakout senior season for Lawrence Central, averaging 17.3 points and 6.8 rebounds per game to help the Bears to a 22-4 record and the program’s first sectional title since 2012. He started his college career at Indiana State before blooming into an NBA prospect at Wake Forest.

22. Grizzlies (from Jazz): Dalen Terry, G/F, Hillcrest Prep (Arizona)

Arizona | Height: 6' 7" | Weight: 195 | Age: 19 | Sophomore

As a senior at Hillcrest Prep, Terry showed off his versatility by averaging 15.3 points, 8.8 rebounds, 8.9 assists, 3.1 steals and 2.1 blocks per game. He chose hometown Arizona as a four-star recruit ranked in the top 50 nationally.

23. 76ers: TyTy Washington, PG, AZ Compass Prep (Arizona)

Kentucky | Height: 6’ 3” | Weight: 195 | Age: 20 | Freshman

Washington led AZ Compass Prep to a 30-2 record in his senior season, averaging 24 points, seven assists and six rebounds per game. The five-star prospect was ranked No. 14 nationally in the Class of 2021 by Rivals and ESPN.

24. Bucks: Jaden Hardy, SG, Coronado High School (Nevada)

G League Ignite | Height: 6' 4" | Weight: 200 | Age: 19

Hardy didn't play a normal season as a senior due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but he was still named a 2021 McDonald’s All-American, with ESPN ranking him as the No. 2 player overall in the class of 2021. He averaged 30.4 points, 9.1 rebounds and 8.4 assists as a junior.

25. Spurs (from Celtics): Ismael Kamagate, C, France

Paris Basketball | Height: 6' 11" | Weight: 220 | Age: 21

Kamagate started his athletic career in Paris as a goalkeeper in soccer, but the switch to basketball was a good one for the big man. His calling card playing in Europe has been defense, especially as a shot blocker.

26. Rockets (from Mavericks): Nikola Jovic, F, Serbia

Mega Basket | Height: 6' 11" | Weight: 220 | Age: 19

Jovic grew up playing water polo and basketball in Serbia and joined the Mega Basket youth basketball system in 2018 in Serbia. He signed his first professional contract with Mega last June.

27. Heat: Christian Braun, F, Blue Valley Northwest High School (Kansas)

Kansas | Height: 6' 7" | Weight: 210 | Age: 21 | Junior

The 2018-19 Gatorade Player of the Year in Kansas, Braun won three straight 6A state championships from his sophomore through senior year.

28. Warriors: Patrick Baldwin Jr., PF, Hamilton Sussex High School (Wisconsin)

Milwaukee | Height: 6' 10" | Weight: 220 | Age: 19 | Freshman

Baldwin is the highest-ranked high school recruit to ever sign with a Horizon League program, choosing hometown Milwaukee over the likes of Duke, North Carolina and Kentucky. He was ranked the No. 4 player nationally in the class of 2021 despite missing most of his senior season with an ankle injury.

29. Grizzlies: Kennedy Chandler, PG, Sunrise Christian Academy (Kansas)

Tennessee | Height: 6' 0" | Weight: 170 | Age: 19 | Freshman

A consensus five-star prospect, Chandler was rated by ESPN as the nation's top point guard in the Class of 2021. He earned McDonald's and Sports Illustrated All-America honors as a senior in 2020-21, and was the Gatorade Player of the Year in Kansas.

30. Nuggets (from Suns): Andrew Nembhard, PG, Montverde Academy (Florida)

Gonzaga | Height: 6' 4" | Weight: 195 | Age: 22 | Senior

A Canada native, Nembhard helped lead Montverde Academy to a high school national championship at the Geico Nationals in 2018. The five-star point guard started his college career at Florida before transferring to Gonzaga.