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ESPN updates 2022 mock draft, includes 2 Wildcats

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The latest edition includes two Kentucky players.

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Jonathan Givony was one of many NBA media members and team personnel that made the trip to Memphis this weekend to watch the Iverson Classic.

With him scouting the only all-star event to happen this season for the class of 2021, Givony has since released an updated mock draft for 2022.

If you look back a couple weeks before the event, you might remember that he had no Kentucky recruits (or any Kentucky players) featured in that edition of his NBA mock draft.

That has now changed.

After a weekend of scouting, Givony has added in Daimion Collins into the lottery mix at 12th overall. It is no secret that Collins has incredible potential, but overall he is still a very raw prospect. That is made known in his brief explanation of adding Collins into the mix, describing him as a “boom or bust” prospect.

Here is what he had to say.

“In transition drills, featuring 3-on-2 and 2-on-1 action, Collins looked like a potential No. 1 pick candidate, putting his head on the rim with incredible ease, while handling the ball and executing complicated step-backs, showing soft touch and range. He protects the rim impressively just by virtue of his length and the sheer quickness in which he gets off his feet as well, showing outstanding timing and mobility rotating from the weak side. However, in competitive 5-on-5 action, including the actual game, Collins struggled. He looked a step slow in terms of awareness reacting on the fly and showed a distinct lack of strength and physicality inside the paint. His limited understanding of team concepts revolving around spacing and half-court execution that showed just how far he is in terms of high-level basketball experience. This isn’t a surprise considering how much of a late-bloomer he is, hailing from the small town of Atlanta, Texas, where he played against low-level competition. But it’s clear that he’s much further away than most players in attendance, even if it could be argued that he had arguably the highest long-term upside of anyone outside Holmgren.”

Collins isn’t the only future Wildcat featured in the mock draft, as new commit TyTy Washington is the other player who could be leaving Lexington next season as a one-and-done prospect. Washington slipped a couple of spots as he comes in at 15th overall.

Former Kentucky signee Nolan Hickman also made his first appearance into the draft picture, as he came in at 22nd overall in the latest update. Hickman was a player that Givony gave praise for several times over the weekend, citing his ball handling, passing, and all-around IQ as the major points for his rise.

Bryce Hopkins also got a shoutout from Givony this weekend but didn’t appear in his updated mock draft.

Once again, this mock draft is still incredibly early. There will be major fluctuation over the course of the next year, but still a good sign to see some future players insert themselves into the conversation with some of the top prospects in the world.

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