2022 NBA Draft scouting report for Jabari Smith: Why the Auburn PF is a candidate to be picked No. 1

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Betting markets have Jabari Smith Jr. as the frontrunner to be the No. 1 choice in June’s draft. It’s difficult to argue he must not be thought about anything however the worthwhile favorite.

Smith Jr. was a vibrant freshman at Auburn last season as he led the Tigers in scoring and struck 42% of his 3-pointers for a group that went on to make a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Auburn coach Bruce Pearl has actually gone as far to state that he’s the very best shooting huge guy in college in more than a years.

Stats back that claim up, too. He’s the 2nd 6-foot-10 or taller forward to make a minimum of 100 totally free tosses and 60 threes in a single season at the college level, signing up with Kevin Durant, who was (and still is) a generationally great scorer – and future Hall of Famer. Smith Jr.’s a deadeye shooter. As a spot-up risk he ranked in the 94th percentile last season according to Synergy information. He was well above average as a catch-and-shoot scorer too, ranking in the 85th percentile.

Creativity with his shot does generate some concerns – beyond dribble-jumpers and capturing to shoot, he’s quite minimal getting to his shot – however think what? Smith Jr. is a generationally skilled shooter for his 6-foot-10 size. The shot range we saw in spurts will come ultimately. He’ll include more weight to his frame and more enthusiasm to his video game. It’s why early signs are the Magic, who hold the No. 1 choice, have actually supposedly secured on him as their leading target with the choice as they want to contribute to their young and amazing core in Orlando. .  

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Jabari Smith

AUBURN •

PF •

10

FR | 6-10 | 220

PPG16.9

RPG7.4

APG2.0

FG PCT42.9

A scout’s take

We asked NBA scouts, providing total privacy, for their take on Smith.

“He doesn’t have much of a hole (in his game.) What he did and how much he continued to improve throughout the course of the year. I guess you can ask about the rebounding or if he can be your No. 1 on a championship team, but he also did a pretty good job of answering each of those questions the last month of the season.”

Listen to Gary Parrish and Matt Norlander examine Smith’s abilities on the Eye on College Basketball podcast.

Smith need-to-knows

Strengths

  • Elite shooting risk with crisp, repeatable shot mechanics; made 42% of his 3-pointers as freshman at Auburn

  • Big guy with a border video game; can produce his own shot off the bounce

  • Versatile and mobile as a protector his size. Can protect the paint versus bigs and efficient in changing onto wings and holding his own on the border

Weaknesses

  • Polished offending weapon who requires to include dribbling and passing polish to much better complete his video game

  • Good protector however a just-OK shot-blocker; at 6-10 his blocked-shots rate is more similar to guards and wings than to bigs – potentially an item of playing beside the very best shot-blocker in college hoops as a freshman (Walker Kessler) however likewise potentially a foreshadowing that his video game at the next level might be as a combination forward instead of as a huge

Pro contrast

College numbers to understand

  • Second college freshman to ever make a minimum of 70 3-pointers and 100 totally free tosses in a season, signing up with Kevin Durant

Before college

  • MaxPreps: Georgia High School Basketball Player of the Year in 2020-21

Mock drafts



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