AUBURN – Mock drafts are no longer complete guesses.
Tuesday night’s 2022 NBA draft lottery solidified the teams that made the first 14 picks, and that has a particularly important impact on this year’s talent pool given the three-way debate over who will pick the No. 1 overall pick.
Auburn Basketball’s Jabari Smith is part of this trio, along with Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren and Duke’s Paolo Banchero.
After the lottery, an instant mock draft by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony projected Smith to #1 overall on the Orlando Magic. The Oklahoma City Thunder will pick second, followed by the Houston Rockets, Sacramento Kings and Detroit Pistons rounding out the top five.
“Jabari Smith is an elite platformer,” said ESPN’s Jay Bilas. “High clearance. He reminds you of Kevin Durant. Excellent athlete. He can guard multiple positions and protect the rim.”
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Follow here to follow where Smith lands in other post-lottery pseudo-drafts.
ESPN’s Jonathan Giveny: #1, Orlando Magic.
Kevin O’Connor from The Ringer: No. 2, Oklahoma City Thunder.
“A hard worker with an unblockable jump shot and elite defensive versatility, making him a safe pick that still has a star on his head.”
USA TODAY’s Jeff Zillgitt: #1, Orlando Magic.
“Smith is a fantastic attacking player who can score with his dribbling and his jump shot – either from 3-point range or from the middle. At his size, he is difficult to defend. It will be difficult for a team to get past Smith because of his advantage and his potential to make an immediate impact.”
CBS Sports’ Kyle Boone: No. 2, Oklahoma City Thunder.
“The exact kind of prospect that would fit alongside an already seeded backcourt of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey.”
CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish: No. 3, Houston Rockets.
“Smith still has a lot of things to improve on, but he’s already a great shooter and versatile defender who plays with great energy.”
Sam Vecenie from The Athletic: #1, Orlando Magic.
“Smith is my favorite candidate in the class because he has the combination of skills that are most in demand in the current NBA. … Smith needs to improve as a passer and ball handler, attacking the rim. He was a good finisher, but not a great one, and he hasn’t shown an ability to make layered pass reads. But I think he’s the safest prospect in this class.
On3’s Jamie Shaw: No. 3, Houston Rockets.
Consensus draft from NBA.com: #1, Orlando Magic.
This story will be updated.