2022 NBA Draft Big Board: Duke’s Paolo Banchero slips in updated prospect rankings

It’s been a little over a month since we last updated the CBS Sports NBA Draft prospect rankings for the 2022 class and the landscape has shifted – in some spots dramatically and in other spots less so – since last refresh now that we’ve gotten a more expansive look at players during the college season. So with additional time to evaluate the class and March Madness just around the corner, what better time than the present to break out an updated (and expanded) rankings for the class?

In our latest update, our rankings reflect that with a few exceptions, players are starting to work their way into specific draft ranges, meaning at this point there’s more shuffling how the top-60 looks than completely revamping the ranks. The landscape is starting to crystalize. And that is especially true at the top, where Purdue guard Jaden Ivey remains No. 1 on our rankings and four of the top five from last update stayed inside the top five in a different order. Meanwhile, the lone new arrival in the top five was last ranked seventh back in January. So, again: shuffling.

The changes are nonetheless notable. Chet Holmgren jumped one spot to No. 2 and has arrived as perhaps the frontrunner to go No. 1 in this year’s draft because of the combination of his size, shooting ability and defensive impact. Then there’s Jabari Smith, who moved to No. 3 at the expense of Paolo Banchero, who dropped two spots to No. 4 as Duke teammate AJ Griffin jumped to No. 7.

Elsewhere in the ranks, there’s a handful of potential one-and-dones who are moving both up and down. In the Big Ten, Ohio State freshman Malachi Branham’s consistent scoring ability has earned him a first-round slot inside our top 3. In the Big 12, Baylor multi-talented forward Jeremy Sochan moved from just outside the top 30 to the teens – in the same range as teammate Kendall Brown. And in the SEC, Alabama guard JD Davison fell 10 spots amid what has been an inconsistent freshman season. He and former No. 1 overall recruit Patrick Baldwin Jr. – who spent this season playing under his father di lui at Milwaukee but had his season marred by injury – are two notable talents whose stock is on the decline in our latest ranks.

Big Board Top 10

The full top-60 can be found here. Our look at the notable risers and fallers are below.

Risers

Chet Holmgren, Gonzaga

Current ranking: 2 | Previous ranking: 3

It’s hard to evaluate Chet Holmgren as a prospect because at 7-foot-1 and weighing less than 200 pounds, there are few prospects over the years who at his size can shoot 3s, create off the dribble and defend the rim at an elite level . But aside from the rail-thin frame, that uniqueness is on his side of him. In many ways he is a unicorn talent. And his two-way impact di lui has him on the inside track to go No. 1 overall in this year’s draft. We’re keeping Purdue guard Jaden Ivey atop our ranks for now – his athleticism, burst and ability to pressure the rim from the guard spot is special – but Holmgren could easily supplant him in coming months, and it wouldn’t surprise if teams come to a consensus that he’s the top talent in the draft despite questions about his frame and how he may hold up against NBA physicality.

AJ Griffin, Duke

Current ranking: 7 | Previous ranking: 11

A preseason knee injury for Griffin clearly slowed his start to the 2021-22 season – Duke eased him back into things and did not play him more than 25 minutes in a game until the 2022 calendar year hit – but a now-healthy Griffin has emerged as perhaps Duke’s best prospect. At 6-6 with an NBA-ready frame and playing a premium position on the wing, he’s hitting just shy of 50% from 3 (!) On the season and has flashed star power in several games – though his scoring ability has at times been inconsistent. At only 18 years old with room to grow as a prospect and his shooting ability seemingly very reliable, it’s hard to imagine he drops out of the top 10 at this point.

Jeremy Sochan, Baylor

Current ranking: 18 | Previous ranking: 31

One of two likely first-rounders from Baylor, Sochan, a 6-9 hybrid forward, has taken a step forward late in the season. The Bears have used him in unique ways, too, including at times running the offense through him and allowing him to operate as the lead decision-maker while also deploying him down low in small ball lineups. His playmaking di lui has really flashed in those opportunities, too. Ideally he’d have more to his game at this point to validate a top-20 ranking – he’s shooting below 30% from 3 and needs to add some zest and consistency to his game – but the ability to defend multiple positions and make plays at his size might still be enough to get him in this range.

Fallers

Paolo Banchero, Duke

Current ranking: 4 | Previous ranking: 2

The polish of Paolo remains alluring – his scoring and creation ability at 6-10 alone should keep him inside the top five of this draft – but he’s no longer a lock to go top-two. As the season has progressed we’ve seen some inconsistency from his outside shooting by him and there are questions about his defense by him, too. Ultimately, he’s a guy who should be a pretty safe bet overall – he’s going to produce as a scorer – but how he impacts the game elsewhere might be the sticking point that moves him to four or five in this draft as opposed to one or two .

Patrick Baldwin Jr., Milwaukee

Current ranking: 15 | Previous ranking: 12

It was a lost year for Patrick Baldwin Jr. at Milwaukee on the whole. The school fired his father di lui, Patrick Baldwin, earlier this month, and it came after Baldwin Jr. played in only 11 games before COVID and calf injuries kept him out for most of the final month of the season. What’s more concerning is that Baldwin Jr. wasn’t dominating in the Horizon when he was healthy: He averaged 12.1 points, 5.8 rebounds and shot 35.7% from 3 in his 11 appearances. After missing almost all of his senior season in high school and failing to completely return to form as a college freshman, he’s not a lock to go in the first round – though his shooting ability from deep at 6-9 and pedigree as a five- star recruit formerly ranked No. 1 in his class may keep him afloat.

Trevor Keels, Duke

Current ranking: 21 | Previous ranking: 15

I’d be pretty surprised if Keels, because of his built-out 6-4 frame, bulldog defensive chops and Lu Dort-like ability to slice to the rim with physicality, did not fall far from lottery territory in the draft if he declares . But the inconsistency from game to game is maddening. And unlike teammate AJ Griffin, whose shot has been consistent even if his overall production di lui is not, Keels’ efficiency di lui as a scorer and shooter has waned far more than it has waxed. That won’t be his game di lui in the NBA – at least not the key part of it – but hitting on only 33.8% of his 3-pointers this season is troublesome and his 67.1% hit rate from the free throw line suggests that improvement may take some time.

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