Will the Orlando Magic take Jabari Smith to No. 1? – Wed News

It doesn’t take long to see why the Orlando Magic is considering ex Auburn forward Jabari Smith Jr. 1 pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft.

Smith, former Duke forward Paolo Banchero and . with Gonzaga Big Man Chet Holmgrenhas already considered three possibilities expected to be considered for top picks before the end of the college basketball season.

But there’s a reason rival officials and scouts believe the No. 1 pick will go to two players — Holmgren and Smith — because the Magic won the draft lottery. Smith is considered the favourite, and at one time the heavy favourite, with the top picks to be drawn from mid-May, According to betonline.com,

Smith, who is listed at 6-foot-10 and 220 pounds with a 7-foot-1 wingspan and dropped 42% of his 3s (5.5 attempts), has a combination of size, defensive versatility and shooting/scoring ability. which is rare.

He averaged 16.9 points (42% on 3s), 7.4 rebounds, 2 assists, 1.1 steals and 1 block in his lone season with the Tigers as a member of the All-SEC, Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year. was named in. team and second team All American.

Smith shot in a variety of ways – spot-ups, turnarounds, off screen and pull-ups – without producing any significant advantage. His tenacity, awareness, agility and length help make him a high level defender.

“I really like this young man,” Ryan Blake, who has helped direct scouting services for the NBA since 1996, said in a recent phone call with the Orlando Sentinel. His aggressive game is about to get a lot better in the NBA. He had the confidence and maturity to play within the system at Auburn. You have a prototypical forward who can play two spots who can actually almost be a Jason Tatum type of player. He has a great shooting stroke – Release [and] soft touch. He is a versatile defender. He is intense. He’s shaking his feet. He is always looking around. He is also a leader. He is always in the mix.

,[He] The drive, mentality and leadership you want as a player is intangible. ,

Although Smith has the ideal skill set and size for the modern NBA, there are on-court concerns surrounding him.

At times, he struggled to create separation as a ballhandler and settled for jumpers. He did not demonstrate advanced passing ability with the Tigers, but Blake did not express concern about Smith’s play.

“He’s a good playwright,” said Blake. “He’s a risky playwright. When he enters a new system and culture, those things will blossom. Physically, he’s going to excel and climb more than anyone else. He has one for me.” It’s a big roof.”

Smith echoed Blake as he spoke to reporters after his pre-draft workout with Magic at the AdventHealth Practice Facility inside the Amway Center on June 9.

“I’ve been able to show my passing ability,” Smith said when asked what part of his skills he would be able to show more of in the NBA, “my ability to play right and not settle for tough shots.” My shot selection will improve a lot to the next level.”

Smith would be an ideal fit for most teams, but the Magic in particular.

He said that he only planned to work for the Magic and Oklahoma City Thunder, who have a second choice in the draft, suggesting he does not expect to fall beyond No.

Smith’s best offensive skill – shooting – is one area that needs to improve the spell after finishing with the league’s third-worst 3-point percentage (33.1%). That will also help make him more versatile defensively.

As Smith sees, there is no better shooter and defender in this draft than him.

“I certainly agree that I am the best combination [shooting and defense],” he said. “My desire to win is what sets me apart. I don’t really care about figures or glamour. I just want to play to win.”

It is a will-to-win, Smith said, that he hopes will be remembered about.

“I’m not worried about statistics or accolades or anything like that,” Smith said. “My main goal in life is to win the NBA championship. That’s what I want to do, even if I average 30. [points or] 10. I will do whatever a team needs me to do to effect victory.

This article first appeared on orlandosentinel.com, email at cost khprice@orlandosentinel.com or follow him on twitter @khobi_price,

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