Saturday, June 25, 2022

2022 NBA Mock Draft: Jabari Smith’s hold on No. 1 briefly slips just hours before picks will be made

2022 NBA Mock Draft: Jabari Smith's hold on No. 1 briefly slips just hours before picks will be made

Making every pick in the 2022 NBA Draft ahead of Thursday’s festivities

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It’s been quite a wild week leading up to Thursday night’s NBA Draft. Jabari Smith Jr. entered the week as the betting favorite to go No. 1, the position he was in essentially since the Orlando Magic won the lottery. Then Paolo Banchero’s odds steadily rose in recent days, to the point where early Thursday morning he actually overtook the Auburn forward as the betting favorite at Caesars Sportsbook. 

But that lasted only a few hours.

The line for the No. 1, 2 and 3 picks was then taken off the board in the breakfast hours Thursday after ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that despite late line movement, Smith was still the expected favorite to go No. 1 — with Chet Holmgren and Banchero likely to go No. 2 and No. 3 to OKC and Houston, respectively.

That’s the exact order we projected them to go in our mock draft on Wednesday. So, in our final mock draft before Thursday’s festivities, it is indeed the same order we project them to go. However, there’s a few final tweaks to our final two-round projections — including a few changes to the top 10 and how we think the evening may unfold. 

Eye On College Basketball

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