The 2022 NBA Draft order has been set and the list of eligible players is officially locked in. We’re going to take a look at the top prospects in the 2022 NBA Draft, assess their strengths and weaknesses, and provide a player comparison for how we see them developing at the next level. Here’s a look at Ohio State G Malaki Branham.
Update — Branham was selected with the No. 20 pick in the draft by the Spurs.
Malaki Branham Draft Profile
Branham wasn’t expected to be a one-and-done player, but he emerged as an offensive force for Ohio State while also making significant defensive contributions. Branham averaged 13.3 points per game and shot 41.6% from deep in the regular season, although the sample size on three-point shots is enough to wonder if it’s a hot streak or a sign of an elite marksman.
Branham can score, and he did it at all three levels in college. If the three-point shooting is real, Branham is going to get on the floor quickly in his rookie season. He’s also a solid defender and has the physicality to cover either guard spot. That’s going to be important given where he’s slated to be taken at the moment, as he’ll be heading to a fringe contender likely missing one or two role players.
Outside of scoring, Branham didn’t do much in terms of powering an offense. He averaged less assists per game than E.J. Liddell, who was mostly operating in the post as a center. If the three-point shot isn’t real, Branham becomes more of a microwave scorer off the bench instead of a quality starter with borderline All-Star consideration. It really all comes down to that outside stroke.