Smith, Holmgren tipped for top spot in NBA Draft; moment of truth for Kai

24/06/2022 6:45:00 AM

NEW YORK—US college star Jabari Smith Jr. is strongly tipped to be chosen with the top pick by the Orlando

The 19-year-old Smith, who excelled for Auburn University’s Tigers this year during his only season as a college player, has emerged as the bookmaker’s favorite to be chosen first in Thursday’s annual scramble for the top collegiate talent. Read more👇

NEW YORK—US college star Jabari Smith Jr. is strongly tipped to be chosen with the top pick by the Orlando

Magic when the 2022 NBA Draft takes place on Thursday.With the season over, the offseason kicks off this week with the 2022 NBA Draft.Reynald I..

The 19-year-old Smith, who excelled for Auburn University’s Tigers this year during his only season as a college player, has emerged as the bookmaker’s favorite to be chosen first in Thursday’s annual scramble for the top collegiate talent.The 6’10” power forward impressed for the Tigers in a college season that saw him average 16.The NBA draft is Thursday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.9 points per game along with 7.After his supposed Ignite stint together with now NBA players Jalen Green and James Wiseman fell apart, Sotto tried to find another way to beef up his experience for the world’s biggest league.4 rebounds and 2.The Oklahoma City Thunder, followed by the Houston Rockets and the Sacramento Kings, are up next in the first round.0 assists.

Meanwhile, 7’2” Filipino sensation Kai Sotto, who is coming off a decent showing in the National Basketball League in Australia, has not been rated highly in the mock drafts, but he has been getting creditable attention, especially after his private workouts with several NBA teams.Inarguably, the favorite as the top draft pick, as well as the leader of what will be a very talented pool, is Jabari Smith, Jr.48 rebounds and close to a block in 15 minutes of play.“We have so many teams who want to bring him in for individual workouts and we actually have a commitment from at least one team that said if he stays in the draft, [they’ll] draft him,” said Joel Bell, draft agent of Sotto, who is bidding to become the first homegrown Filipino to be drafted in the NBA.ADVERTISEMENT Smith, whose father Jabari played four seasons in the NBA, is also a distant cousin of Kwame Brown, the No.The forward spent one year at Auburn and averaged 16.1 pick in the 2001 draft.And I’m a pretty good passer at my height as well and I have a high basketball IQ and pretty good shot blocker,” said Sotto, now standing at the doorstep of his NBA dream.Brown’s NBA career ought to be a cautionary tale for Smith and other hopefuls in the draft, where top picks often fail to live up to lofty expectations.4 rebounds, 2.

Brown, who ended his professional career with a scoring average of just 6.6 points per game, is routinely described as one of the “biggest busts” in NBA draft history.1 steals and 1.Whether it will be one from the team he worked out with in the likes of New York Knicks, nChicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Atlanta Hawks, Orlando Magic, Sacramento Kings or Indiana Pacers, remains to be seen.Conversely, players chosen way down the pecking order on draft day often emerge as dominant MVP-caliber talent.Denver’s Nikola Jokic, the NBA’s Most Valuable Player for the past two seasons, was chosen with the 41st pick in the draft in 2014, while Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, the back-to-back MVP in 2019 and 2020, was chosen 15th overall.Smith is projected to be a lock for being one of the top three picks.There are strong grounds, however, for believing that Smith may have little difficulty living up to his expected top billing.

The teenager has a rare combination of size and shooting touch, with deadly accuracy from three-point range and an athleticism likely to make him a defensive asset for any team that ends up recruiting him.Included in the wave of international talent available are France’s Ousmane Diengo, projected for the first round, and Serbian Nikola Jović.Smith’s biggest rival for the No.1 pick is expected to be Gonzaga University’s Chet Holmgren, who stands an imposing 7ft tall.The explosive shooting guard signed with the Kentucky Wildcats in September of 2021, but did not play last season.The 20-year-old Bulldogs standout also offers a combination of elite ball-handling and footwork as well as being an expert shot-blocker.Holmgren averaged 14.as the first overall pick and recent movement provides him with an even bigger lead over the field.

1 points per game with 9.9 rebounds for Gonzaga.Holmgren is the hedge.If Orlando fail to pick Holmgren with the first choice, he is almost certain to go to the Oklahoma City Thunder with the second pick.James Jones, an assistant coach with the US Team at last year’s Under-19 World Cup that Holmgren played in, describes him as a “Kevin Durant kind of player.He opened at +145, but recently moved to +115.” “He has great instincts.

He’s the kind of guy that can do multiple different things,” Jones told AFP.2.“He’s not one kind of player, he can do a lot of different stuff, very versatile.“As a kid, leader, hard worker, great person, very friendly, very outgoing, and very dedicated into becoming the best basketball player he can.He opened at +350 to be the first pick and is now at +1500.” “He’s a Kevin Durant kind of player in terms of his skill level, to be ableto do some of those things.He’s obviously not Kevin Durant.1% of the action, while Holmgren currently has 24.

But he has that skill, a similar skill set.” Other talent in the top echelon of the draft on Thursday includes Duke University’s Paolo Banchero, tipped to be taken by the Houston Rockets with the third pick.Banchero is receiving 16.Jaden Ivey, who averaged 17.3 points per game for Purdue, could also feature high in the draft, with the Sacramento Kings lurking as a possible destination for the 20-year-old.A similar ranking is found at DraftKings.“We have so many teams who want to bring him in for individual workouts and we actually have a commitment from at least one team that said if he stays in the draft, [they’ll] draft him,” Bell said.

Tags:.Holmgren is in second place with current odds of +150.

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