NEW YORK – The primary alternative within the 2022 NBA draft belongs to Orlando Magic. And it is no secret who they’ll choose up on Thursday night time.
“I will be stunned if I am not ranked first,” Jabari Smith Jr., Auburn’s unanimous finest, informed Yahoo Sports activities. “It is simply my aggressive nature, combined with my selflessness and skill to only hit the ball, defend a number of positions and care for successful. I do not care about statistics. I really feel like I may help each workforce immediately. However I really feel like I am the #1 alternative.
Smith has solely labored for Orlando and the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder, who owns No. 2.
“Town of Orlando was very nice,” Smith informed Yahoo Sports activities. “They’re transferring in the correct path. They’ve a brand new head coach, Jamahl Mosley. It was good speaking to him. It was good to speak to GM and you’ll say that they’re transferring in the correct path and the long run is vibrant. I wish to be part of it. I can not wait. “
Among the finest potential individuals, together with Smith, spent Wednesday afternoon on the headquarters of the Nationwide Basketball Affiliation in downtown Manhattan, internet hosting a neighborhood youth basketball clinic and packing kits to assist Covenant Home residents. This group helps younger individuals going through homelessness.
Potential first spherical attendants: Chet Holmgren, Paolo Banchero, Ochai Agbaji, MarJon Beauchamp, Malaki Branham, Dyson Daniels, Johnny Davis, Ousmane Dieng, Jalen Duren, Tari Eason, Jaden Hardy, Bennedict Mathurin, Jeremy Murray Sochan, Blake Wesley, Jalen Williams and Mark Williams.
“It is simply cool, man,” Smith informed Yahoo Sports activities concerning the youth clinic. “You see movies of NBA gamers giving again, you see a number of the finest individuals who’ve ever achieved issues like that. So it is simply good to assist these in want and simply with different gamers who’re attaining their life dream.
Jabari Smith remained humble all through the 2022 NBA draft course of
The 6-foot striker made a breakthrough in Auburn when he averaged 16.9 factors in 34 video games, took 7.4 rebounds, one block, 1.1 innings and hit 42% of three.
Its versatility and measurement intrigue NBA workers.
It was initially mentioned who could be No. 1 when Magic received the draft lottery. Holmgren was from 2021 to 2022. a safe contribution to the yr ‘s college marketing campaign.
Smith mentioned he has at all times believed he might change into number one, even when nobody else did.
“I used to be simply humbled, down, holding my head and never listening to the rankings or drafts,” Smith informed Yahoo Sports activities. “I simply centered on Auburn, my teammates and the win. I really feel like I did it and every little thing else labored. And I really feel like my selfishness stands out. I actually do not care what number of minutes I get. I simply wish to assist the workforce. That is how I used to be raised. And I’ve at all times been raised to play the sport proper, and I at all times care about successful, not particular person success. That is who I’m. “
Staying in first place comes with excessive expectations. The Magic’s earlier three No. 1 picks turned out to be superstars.
Shaquille O’Neal was elected in 1992, Chris Webber was elected the next yr and traded with Golden State Warriors on Choice Day in opposition to Choice 3, Anfernee Hardaway and Dwight Howard was elected in 2004.
Smith is predicted to be in nice firm.
“No. 1 picks like LeBron James and plenty of others, the stress is nice. Should you do not produce, they will label you bust fairly shortly,” Smith informed Yahoo Sports activities. “I do know it is too arduous to give attention to successful for many entrance numbers, however that is precisely what I wish to do. I do not actually care what individuals say about me. I simply wish to get into the play-off in my first yr and care for the remainder for myself. I do know that if I win, I’ll do one thing proper.
Draft Day is lastly right here. NBA commissioner Adam Silver is asking his title and his life will change perpetually. That is the second he’s ready for, the second he foresaw in entrance of the plenty.
“I am a little bit nervous, man, as everybody needs to be,” Smith informed Yahoo Sports activities. “You labored for it for therefore lengthy and it is like a dream come true. So I am a little bit excited and nervous. I am simply prepared for the day.”