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NBA Draft 2022: Jabari Smith Jr. states he’d be ‘surprised’ if he didn’t go No. 1


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Auburn’s Jabari Smith Jr. could most likely be the No. 1 pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft.

But if you talk to him, he would say he’s definitely likely to be the leading pick when the Orlando Magic go on the clock.

Former Auburn player Jabari Smith talks to the media following a pre-draft workout with the Orlando Magic at Amway Center June 9, 2022. 

Previous Auburn participant Jabari Smith talks to the media next a pre-draft exercise session with the Orlando Magic at Amway Centre June 9, 2022. 
(Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Provider by means of Getty Illustrations or photos)

“I’ll be amazed if I’m not taken No. 1,” Smith instructed Yahoo Sports Thursday. “It’s just my competitive nature combined with my unselfishness and my skill to just shoot the ball, protect multiple positions and treatment about successful. 

“I really do not care about stats. I sense I can aid any crew ideal away. But I really feel I’m the No. 1 select.”

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Smith, Chet Holmgren and Paolo Banchero are amongst the 3 gamers who could be the No. 1 total decide. But ESPN claimed the NBA Draft was “ever more organization” with Smith, Holmgren and Banchero heading 1-2-3.

“The town of Orlando was definitely nice,” Smith informed Yahoo. “They’re headed in the suitable route. They’ve got a new head mentor, Jamahl Mosley. It was good conversing to him. It was very good chatting to the GM, and you can convey to they are headed in the suitable route and the long run is brilliant. I want to be a section of that. I simply cannot wait around.”

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A behind-the-scenes photo of NBA Draft prospect Jabari Smith Jr. posing for a portrait during media availability as part of the 2022 NBA Draft June 22, 2022, at the Westin Times Square in New York City.

A powering-the-scenes image of NBA Draft prospect Jabari Smith Jr. posing for a portrait for the duration of media availability as section of the 2022 NBA Draft June 22, 2022, at the Westin Situations Square in New York City.
(Mike Lawrence/NBAE via Getty Images)

Smith averaged 16.9 details and 7.4 rebounds for each game in his lone 12 months with the Tigers. He was named the SEC Freshman of the 12 months and won the Wayman Tisdale Award for staying the top rated men’s freshman basketball player in the place.

Smith was a star from his higher university several years.

He served guide the U.S. to a gold medal in the FIBA Americas Beneath-16 Championship in Brazil in 2019. He was also a McDonald’s All-American and Mr. Georgia Basketball in 2021.

The Magic will have the No. 1 choose in this year’s draft. It will be the fourth time in their background they have the prime choose. In 2004, the previous time they held the No. 1 choose, they picked Dwight Howard.

Jabari Smith of the Auburn Tigers reacts in the final seconds of the second half against the Miami Hurricanes during the second round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament at Bon Secours Wellness Arena March 20, 2022, in Greenville, S.C.

Jabari Smith of the Auburn Tigers reacts in the remaining seconds of the second half in opposition to the Miami Hurricanes through the second spherical of the 2022 NCAA Match at Bon Secours Wellness Arena March 20, 2022, in Greenville, S.C.
(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Pictures)

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Orlando concluded with a file of 22-60 in 2021-22.

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