HOUSTON — Jabari Smith Jr. is considered by many as the top prospect entering the 2022 NBA Draft. Smith spent one season at Auburn University, where he led the Tigers to the second round of the NCAA Tournament following a 28-7 record during the 2021-22 college campaign.
Smith will be a consensus top-three pick come the start of the draft on June 23 in Brooklyn. But it appears that he will not be an option for the Houston Rockets, who holds the No. 3 selection.
The Orlando Magic — who currently holds the No. 1 pick — hosted Smith for a pre-draft workout on Thursday inside the Amway Center. Smith’s next workout will be with the Oklahoma City Thunder — his last audition prior to the draft. Smith’s workout with the Magic lasted for two hours.
His decision not to meet with the Rockets is not a knock against the organization. As the concurrence top prospect, Smith will undoubtedly be the first player taken off the draft board as the top overall pick. But should the Magic choose one of Smith’s counterparts over his services, the 6-foot-10 forward will likely fall to the Thunder.
When speaking to the media in Orlando, Smith revealed that his only interview at the NBA Combined was with Oklahoma City in May.
Smith took home SEC Freshman of the Year honors during his first and only season at Auburn. He appeared in 34 games averaging 16.9 points on .429/.420/.80.0 shooting splits, 7.4 rebounds and a block.