Houston Rockets pick Auburn’s Jabari Smith No. 3 in 2022 NBA Draft

Houston Rockets pick Auburn’s Jabari Smith No. 3 in 2022 NBA Draft

Brooklyn, NY – The top-ranked auburn-dressed recruit appears to be minutes away from becoming the program’s first NBA #1 overall pick.

But drafting is rarely that simple, especially in a crowded category of top talent.

Auburn forward Jabari Smith was named by the Houston Rockets with the third pick from the draft Thursday night, becoming the most-chosen player in Auburn basketball history.

The 19-year-old from Sandy Creek, Georgia, in the Atlanta area was the No. 7 recruit in the 2021 class, and he excelled in his only season in Auburn. The 6-foot-10 forward averaged 16.9 points in 28.8 minutes per game on 42% of 3-point shots.

That’s what rockets get at Smith.

Positives

Auburn Tigers forward Jabari Smith (10) takes the field for a warm-up during the second round of the 2022 NCAA Championship at Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, South Carolina, on Sunday, March 20, 2022.

Combining size and shooting, there is very little precedent for possibly entering the NBA like Smith. It’s the best 3-point shooter in its heyday that has been crafted in the last 20 years. His consistent and flexible form is a sign that his numbers last season were not out of place.

In cases of capture and shooting, he receives passes in a shooting motion already. Away from the bounce (his jump shot is preferred with one or two dribbles), he quickly rises to an unlockable release point. Auburn often fed him into the center disc, collecting defenders and using one-off draw passes, spinning jumps, and body rips to make fouls.

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