Sunday, July 3, 2022

2022 NBA Mock Draft: Jabari Smith moves up to No. 2 to Thunder behind Chet Holmgren at No. 1 to Magic

2022 NBA Mock Draft: Jabari Smith moves up to No. 2 to Thunder behind Chet Holmgren at No. 1 to Magic

There’s some changes near the top on Gary Parrish’s latest NBA mock draft

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Jabari Smith remains the betting-market favorite to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft — and he might be. We’ll see. But there’s still been no definitive reporting that states Orlando is 100% settled on the former Auburn star. So I’m keeping Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren at the top of this mock draft (for now) based on the idea that I genuinely believe he should be — not necessarily that he will be, but that he should be — the first player off the board.

I just believe in his upside.

Is the body a concern? Sure, I guess.

But the body didn’t prevent Holmgren from being the top-ranked high school player in his class. And it didn’t prevent him from being a top-shelf freshman for a team that was the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. So I’m going to trust that the body also won’t prevent him from being a future NBA All-Star thanks to an incredibly unique skill set that allows him to rim-protect on defense and shot-create on offense. Even most NBA Draft analysts who have Smith projected to go ahead of Holmgren acknowledge they believe Holmgren is the biggest-upside prospect available. I agree with them. And that’s why, ultimately, I’ll still be a little surprised if the Magic pass on Holmgren when it comes time to announce a pick on June 23.

Eye On College Basketball

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