The San Antonio Spurs made their draft selections for this year in Josh Primo and Joe Wieskamp. While Primo was an initially underwhelming pick, that mostly came from people wanting the team to draft a big man. They made some solid signings in Doug McDermott and Zach Collins that could free them up for cap space down the road.
It isn’t too early to look ahead to the 2022 NBA Draft though when it comes to big man help. Here are some of the biggest big man names to know for 2022.
A Michigan forward who should get major minutes from the jump, Houstan is absolutely a lottery pick as things stand now. The 6-foot-8, 205-pound will pair nicely with Hunter Dickinson and won’t take up space in the post as he likes to hover around the perimeter. He’s an already excellent shooter from beyond the arc, which helps his stock as well.
The 6-foot-10, 210-pound forward out of Auburn can play at either forward position and can guard multiple positions. He will have to get his shot selection under control, but should get plenty of coaching from Bruce Pearl in that regard.
One of the top prospects in the 2021 recruiting class, Banchero is the gem of Duke’s incoming freshmen class. The 6-foot-10, 250-pound forward was the Washington state Gatorade Player of the Year and was ranked as the top center in the recruiting class. He might be a bit small to play that at the NBA level, but he does everything else well anyway as a driver, shooter, and self-creator.
Patrick Baldwin Jr.
The Milwaukee signee went a different route as he’s playing for his dad in college as a top-10 recruit at a mid-major school. The 6-foot-10, 205-pound forward should be no match for much of the Horizon League so getting a better idea of how he will handle top-tier competition could be tough.
The 6-foot-9, 210-pound forward is one of Kentucky’s heralded freshmen who will turn some heads with his freakish athleticism. He’s a bit of a jack-of-all-trades and master of none. He will have to get stronger in the lower body, but that can be an easy fix with time in the weight room.
The Memphis big man stands at 6-foot-10 and 230 pounds. He’s younger than a lot of other freshmen in this class so he has room to grow. He uses his size well to bully defenders in the post, but still has to improve his perimeter shooting and ball handling. He is also a likely top-5 pick.
He was the assumed top pick for 2022 until Banchero took over that spot. The 7-foot-1, 195-pound do-it-all forward is a monster who can beat any defender in front of him. He will have to put on quite a bit more weight to handle the rigors of the NBA, but he is a legitimate top-3 pick.