The Smoking Cuban

2022 NBA Draft mock 1.0: First look at the first round

2022 NBA Draft Chet Holmgren Paolo Banchero
2022 NBA Draft Chet Holmgren Paolo Banchero / Joe Rondone/The Commercial Appeal via
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2022 NBA Draft, Caleb Love
2022 NBA Draft, Caleb Love / Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

2022 NBA Draft mock #25: Oklahoma City Thunder (via Clippers): Caleb Love

The Thunder are loaded with draft picks and are going to take a ton of bites at the apple. They are searching for talent to develop and should take the best player on the board regardless of position at every pick.

Love is entering his sophomore season at UNC. Last year, he averaged 10.5 points, 3.6 assists, and 1.2 steals in 27.7 minutes per game. The 6’4 guard has a versatile game the features ball-handling, playmaking, and solid defense. His draft stock should keep improving as he takes on a larger role for the Tar Heel this season.

The 19-year-old struggled from 3-point range last season. He took 4.4 attempts per game but connected at just 26.6 percent. It will be Love’s biggest focus area of improvement heading into his second college campaign. If he can become a 35 percent 3-point shooter, Love will be a top 20 pick on draft night. Without the gains, he may slip into the second round or decide to stay for his junior season.

Oklahoma City has had some success improving player’s jumpers in recent years. They take the shot on Caleb Love’s upside as they continue to rebuild their roster.