‘I will be stunned if I am not taken No. 1’ by the Orlando Magic

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‘I will be stunned if I am not taken No. 1’ by the Orlando Magic
‘I will be stunned if I am not taken No. 1’ by the Orlando Magic

NEW YORK – The No. 1 decide within the 2022 NBA Draft returns to the Orlando Magic. And at this level, it is no secret who they plan to select on Thursday evening.

“I’d be surprised if I didn’t get first,” Jabari Smith Jr., a gaggle high decide from Auburn, instructed Yahoo Sports activities. “It’s just my competitive nature mixed with my selflessness, my ability to shoot the ball, defend multiple positions and care about winning. I don’t care about stats. I feel like I can help any team right away. But I feel like I’m the first choice.”

Smith worked in Orlando and the Oklahoma City Thunder only, the runners-up in the overall selection.

“The city of Orlando was really cool,” Smith told Yahoo Sports. “They’re going in the right direction. They’ve got a new coach, Jamal Mosley. It was great talking to him. It was nice talking to GM and you can tell they’re going in the right direction and the future is bright. I want to be a part of that. I can’t.” Wait.”

Auburn Tiger forward Jabari Smith celebrates with a basket against Jackson State during the first round of the 2022 NCAA Men's Championship.

Auburn forward Jabri Smith told Yahoo Sports he would be surprised if the Orlando Magic didn’t pick him for the top spot in the NBA draft on Thursday. (Bob Donan/USA TODAY Sports)

Some of the top potential clients, including Smith, spent Wednesday afternoon at the headquarters of the National Basketball Players Association in midtown Manhattan, hosting a local youth basketball clinic and packing crews for residents of Covenant House, an organization that supports young people facing homelessness challenges.

Round 1 odds: Chet Holmgren, Paulo Banchero, Ochai Agbagi, Margoun Beauchamp, Malaki Branham, Dyson Daniels, Johnny Davies, Usman Deng, Galen Doreen, Tarry Eason, Jaden Hardy, Benedict Mathurin, Keegan Murray, Jeremy Suchan, Blake Wesley and Can Williams Mark Williams is also present.

“That’s cool, man,” Smith told Yahoo Sports of the youth clinic. “You watch videos of NBA players getting paid to give back, you also see some of the greatest things ever doing things like this. So it’s good to give back and help those in need, and to be here with the other players who are about to fulfill the dream of their lives.”

The 6-foot-10 ahead had a rookie season at Auburn averaging 16.9 factors, 7.4 rebounds, one piece and 1.1 steals and photographs 42% of three in 34 video games.

The ingenuity and scale of the intrigue of the NBA employees.

There have been discussions initially about who would take first place when Magic would win the Draft Sweepstakes. Holmgren has been a protected guess for the slot in a big a part of the faculty’s 2021-22 marketing campaign.

However Smith mentioned he at all times believed he could possibly be the primary selection, even when nobody believed him.

“I stayed humble, I stayed calm, I kept my head calm and didn’t notice the fake ratings and drafts,” Smith instructed Yahoo Sports activities. “I just focused on Auburn, I focused on my teammates, I focused on winning. I feel like I did it and everything else went well. And I feel my selflessness stand out. I really don’t care how many minutes I get. I just really want to help the team.” That is how I grew up. I used to be at all times raised to play the sport the best method and at all times care about profitable and never particular person success. That is the way in which I’m.”

Getting the first place comes with lofty expectations. Magic’s three previous No. 1 picks turned out to be superstars.

Shaquille O’Neal was picked up in 1992, Chris Webber was picked the following year and traded on draft day to the Golden State Warriors at No. 3 pick, Anfernee Hardaway, and Dwight Howard was the pick in 2004.

Smith is expected to be in great company.

“The #1 picks like LeBron James and so many others, there’s a lot of pressure. They will grade you for a bust very quickly if you don’t produce it,” Smith told Yahoo Sports. “I know that for most of the #1 picks, it’s kind of hard What to get into the league and focus on winning, but that’s just what I want to do. I don’t really care what people say about me. I just want to go to the playoffs in my freshman year, and the rest will take care of itself. I know if I win, I’m doing something right.”

Draft day has lastly arrived. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will name his identify and his life will likely be modified ceaselessly. That is the second he has been ready for, the second he has imagined in entrance of the plenty.

“I’m kind of nervous, man, as everyone should be,” Smith instructed Yahoo Sports activities. “I have been engaged on this for a very long time and it was like a dream come true. So I am excited and a bit nervous. I am simply prepared for the day.”

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