2022 NBA draft: Jabari Smith Jr. from Auburn goes to the Houston Rockets as a third draft shocker

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) – Welcome to Clutch City, Jabari Smith Jr.! The Rockets picked the Auburn star to top the rankings for third overall in an NBA draft shocker.

Smith, who was selected long before the draft as the likely No. 1, slipped to Houston after the Orlando Magic left Duke with Paolo Banchero.

Chet Holmgren, who pundits also saw as one of the first three players to leave the board, went to the Oklahoma City Thunder in second place.

Houston also has the #17 and #26 picks in the first round.

How did Houston meet Smith?

ESPN’s Jonathan Givony reported that the Smith-to-Orlando narrative that had set its course during draft week had changed just before the event began.

“Every NBA team we spoke to during draft week expected Smith to be the No. 1, a status that changed right before the event began,” Givony wrote, adding that the 6- Foot 10 Smith only worked with the magic and thunder.

What can Rockets fans expect?

The 19-year-old continues to be a top player in this year’s class.

“He’s arguably the best shooter in the draft despite being 6’10 and more than a full year younger than Holmgren,” Givony wrote. “The level of intensity and versatility Smith brings to the table defensively will be attractive in Houston, along with the fact that he ticks every box that NBA teams expect from a character and competitiveness standpoint.”

What should you know about Jabari Smith Jr.?

His father, Jabari Smith Jr., played four seasons in the NBA and abroad.

To learn more about this story, follow Greg Bailey on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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https://abc13.com/houston-rockets-nba-draft-paolo-banchero-duke-blue-devils/11984996/ 2022 NBA draft: Jabari Smith Jr. from Auburn goes to the Houston Rockets as a third draft shocker

Dais Johnston

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