The Smoking Cuban

2022 NBA Draft mock 2.0: Who will Dallas Mavericks select?

2022 NBA Draft, Chet Holmgren
2022 NBA Draft, Chet Holmgren / James Snook-USA TODAY Sports
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2022 NBA Draft, Max Christie
2022 NBA Draft, Max Christie / Nick King/Lansing State Journal / USA

2022 NBA Draft mock #26: Oklahoma City Thunder (via Clippers): Max Christie

The Clippers traded their first-round pick to the Thunder unprotected this year. ESPN’s BPI is high on LA, despite Kawhi Leonard’s knee injury, which leaves OKC to pick at the end of the first round. It will be the third selection for the Thunder in this mock draft.

Christie is a 6’6 wing that is entering his freshman season at Michigan State. He needs to add more mass to be a force in the NBA, but the 18-year-old is an impressive shooter that can handle the ball and make simple plays.

Christie’s defense will be something to watch during his freshman campaign. Can he make a massive impact on that end of the floor, especially defending at the point of attack? If so, Max Christie should be a lottery pick as the 3-and-D wing every NBA covets.

The Thunder are in the early stages of a total rebuild, so they will be searching for upside. Even if Christie just shows flashes, Oklahoma City would love to have a 3-and-D wing around Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey. The Thunder are likely multiple years away from making the postseason, so they have time to develop teenage talent.