Create
Notifications

“He’s got a handle, he can shoot threes… There’s a lot of potential” - JJ Redick says he’ll pick Auburn star to go first in NBA draft, says he’s excited to see him develop

Auburn Tigers forward Jabari Smith Jr is projected to go first in the NBA Draft
Auburn Tigers forward Jabari Smith Jr is projected to go first in the NBA Draft
Tyler Rucker

The NBA draft will take place on Thursday, and Auburn Tigers freshman forward Jabari Smith is a popular name for discussion.

Gonzaga freshman big man Chet Holmgren had been considered the runaway favorite for the top selection. But various rumblings around the league have pointed to Smith as the expected No. 1 pick by the Orlando Magic.

On ESPN's "First Take," analyst and former NBA player JJ Redick said he believes Smith will be drafted first:

“He’s got a handle. He can shoot threes. … There’s a lot of potential.”

youtube-cover

Is Jabari Smith the favorite to go first in the NBA draft?

Auburn Tigers freshman Jabari Smith could go first to the Orlando Magic.
Auburn Tigers freshman Jabari Smith could go first to the Orlando Magic.

Three players – Chet Holmgren, Paolo Banchero and Jabari Smith Jr. – have long been considered potential No. 1 picks in the NBA draft. Smith, a former Auburn Tigers forward, has been rumored to have plenty of fans in the Orlando Magic front office.

Smith is deserving of the first selection. He was one of the country's most impressive freshmen this year, showcasing serious upside and the ability to be a dangerous weapon from the outside. Smith averaged 16.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game while shooting 42.9%, including 42.0% from 3-point range.

Are the Magic undecided at No. 1?@Sam_Vecenie isn’t sold that Jabari Smith Jr. is a lock.More on @AthleticNBAShow:spoti.fi/3Nav7ojapple.co/3n5SC7a https://t.co/8yCkGb0uiz

The week of the draft has always been a popular one for rumors and speculation. While Smith has found himself the favorite to be the first selection, analysts have speculated that it wouldn't surprise them if another name is called first on Thursday.

The Athletic's Sam Vecenie wrote:

"I would not be completely stunned if it's someone other than Jabari."

Smith was a consensus second-team All-American and the Wayman Tisdale Award winner as the nation's best freshman. He was also the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year and was named first-team All-SEC.

Holmgren, from the Gonzaga Bulldogs, and Banchero, from the Duke Blue Devils, were all consensus second-team All-Americans.

Holmgren was the West Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year as well as a first-team All-WCC selection. Banchero was the Atlantic Coast Conference Rookie of the Year and a first-team All-ACC selection.

Time will tell what direction the Magic will go in, but for now it looks as if the Auburn forward is the favorite to be picked first.


Edited by Joseph Schiefelbein

Comments

Quick Links:

More from Sportskeeda
Fetching more content...