NEW YORK – The No. 1 choose within the 2022 NBA Draft belongs to the Orlando Magic. And at this level, it is no secret who they plan to select on Thursday evening.
“I might be shocked if I am not picked No. 1,” Jabber Smith Jr., the unanimous prime general select from Auburn, instructed Yahoo Sports activities. “It’s simply my aggressive nature with my selflessness and my skill to shoot the ball, defend a number of positions and care about successful. I do not care about statistics. I really feel that I will help any crew instantly. However I believe I am the No. 1 choose.”
Smith has solely labored for the Orlando and Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder, that are No. 2 homeowners general.
“Town of Orlando was very nice,” Smith instructed Yahoo Sports activities. “They’re not off course. They’ve discovered a brand new head coach, Jamahal Mosley. It was nice speaking to him. Good to speak to the GM and you may inform they’re headed in the precise route and the longer term is vivid. I need to be part of it. I can not wait.”
Some prime prospects, together with Smith, spent Wednesday afternoon on the headquarters of the Nationwide Basketball Gamers Affiliation in midtown Manhattan, internet hosting a basketball clinic for native youth and packing kits to learn residents of Covenant Home, a company devoted to youth helps folks. Homeless.
First spherical prospects who have been additionally in attendance: Chet Holmgren, Paolo Banchero, Ochai Agbaji, Marjon Beauchamp, Malachi Branham, Dyson Daniels, Johnny Davis, Usman Dieng, Jalen Duren, Tari Eason, Jaden Hardy, Benedict Mathurin, Keegan Murray, Jeremy Sochan, Blake Wesley, Jalen Williams and Mark Williams.
“It is nice, man,” Smith instructed Yahoo Sports activities in regards to the youth clinic. “You watch movies of NBA gamers who’re giving again, you see the best of issues like this. So it is good to provide again and assist these in want, and simply be right here with different gamers who’re giving their lives.” Reaching the dream of
Jabri Smith ‘Stayed Humble’ Throughout 2022 NBA Draft Course of
The 6-foot-11 ahead had a breakout freshman season at Auburn as he averaged 16.9 factors, 7.4 rebounds, a block, 1.1 steals and shot 42% of the three in 34 video games.
His versatility and measurement intrigue NBA personnel.
When the Magic received the draft lottery, it was initially debated as to who would go to No. Holmgren was a secure wager for the slot for the 2021-22 school marketing campaign.
Smith stated he at all times believed he could possibly be the No. 1 choose, even when nobody else did.
“I simply stayed humble, saved my head down, and did not take note of rankings and pretend drafts,” Smith instructed Yahoo Sports activities. “I simply targeted on Auburn, targeted on my teammates, and targeted on successful. I really feel like I did that and every little thing else labored. And I believe my selflessness stands out. Me Do not actually care what number of minutes I get. I actually need to assist the crew. That is how I used to be raised. And I used to be raised to at all times play the sport the precise means and I at all times care about successful I used to do it and never for private success. That is how I’m.”
Being taken No. 1 comes with nice expectations. The Magic’s final three No. 1 picks proved to be superstars.
Shaquille O’Neill was picked in 1992, Chris Webber was chosen the next yr and on draft day was traded to the Golden State Warriors for the quantity 3 choose, with Anferney Hardaway and Dwight Howard the choose in 2004.
Smith is predicted to be in glorious firm.
“The No. 1 picks are like LeBron James and lots of others, there may be numerous stress. In the event you don’t produce they may label you a bust in a short time,” Smith instructed Yahoo Sports activities. “I do know most 1 picks, it is onerous to enter a league specializing in successful, however that is simply what I need to do. I do not care what folks say about me. I simply need to go to the playoffs my first yr, and the remainder will handle itself. I do know if I am successful, I am doing one thing proper.”
Draft day has lastly arrived. NBA commissioner Adam Silver will name his identify and his life shall be modified without end. That is the second he has been ready for, a second he had imagined earlier than the general public.
“I am a bit of nervous, man, as everybody must be,” Smith instructed Yahoo Sports activities. “You labored for this for thus lengthy and it is like a dream come true. So I am a bit of excited and nervous. I am simply prepared for the day.”