The NBA Draft is less than eight hours away. Tonight, live at the Barclays' Center will be the 2022 NBA Draft and the Orlando Magic have the number one overall pick heading into tonight's festivities. The betting odds for the number one pick have changed overnight as Duke's Paolo Banchero is the odds favorite to go number one at -200 with Auburn's Jabari Smith, the previous favorite, now at +130 and Gonzaga's Chet Holmgren at +600.
Three good and talented players to choose from with the number one pick, but there is only one choice the Magic must make at one.... Jabari Smith Jr.
Looking at the Magic roster, this team is extremely young with only Robin Lopez (13 years) and Terrence Ross (9 years) the most experienced players. The next closer player with experience in Orlando is Gary Harris going into his eighth year in the league and then Markelle Fultz with four years. A very young team who will be adding another young player to the roster tonight.
Paolo Banchero and Jabari Smith both leaving college after their freshman year where both players led their teams to the NCAA Tournament. Banchero help led Duke to the Final Four before losing to archrival North Carolina. Banchero led Duke with 17.2 points on 47.8% shooting, and 7.8 rebounds in 2022.
Jabari Smith Jr. led Auburn with 16.9 points on 42.9% shooting with 7.4 rebounds in 2022. The Tigers were a two-seed in the NCAA Tournament but was ousted in second round by the Miami Hurricane.
Banchero is the most sensible pick at one because he is the most developed and proven talent in this draft class. He combined size at 6'10 and 250 lbs. with passing ability, skills, and competitive edge, Banchero is the readiest player in this draft. The logical for any team at number one would be Paolo Banchero.
However, the Orlando Magic has the number one pick and Jabari Smith Jr. should be the pick. Also, at 6'10 like Banchero but a little slimmer at 220 lbs., Smith Jr. has the better shooting ability than Banchero. Smith Jr. shot the long-distance at 42% on 5.5 attempts per game. Smith Jr. also brings excellent defensive upside and a blossoming ability to create shots for himself.
With Jalen Suggs and Cole Anthony running the show as guards in Orlando, Smith Jr. will make the perfect with them with his ability to shot and create shots. The Magic would also be pairing Smith Jr. with up-and-coming inside personnel with Mo Bamba, Bol Bol, and the Wagner Boys (Franz and Moritz) not to mention Jonathan Issac on the defensive end as well.
The ability shot offensive especially the long-ball and being excellent defensively, Jabari Smith Jr. should be in a Magic uniform next season as the number one pick tonight.