NBA Rumors: Orlando Magic Close To Locking In First Pick

The Orlando Magic are reportedly closing in on their choice for the no. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. According to Brett Siegel of Sports Illustrated, Jabari Smith Jr. is likely a lock to hear his name called first by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver on June 23.

Most mock drafts have Smith going no. 1 to Orlando and based on this report, it seems like that's what we'll be seeing at Barclays Center in a little over two weeks from now. 

Smith had a standout freshman season with the Auburn Tigers this past season. In 34 games, he averaged 16.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.1 steals, and 1.0 blocks.

The 6-foot-10 forward possesses a smooth and deadly stroke and his elite 42.0 percent from beyond the three-point arc is a testament to his marksmanship from long range.

Smith also has tremendous upside as a three-level scorer. He's shown flashes of a midrange game in college and given his athleticism, he could become a terrific finisher and scorer inside the paint.

The Fayetteville, Georgia native isn't a slouch on the other end of the floor, either. He's displayed great on-ball defense throughout his college career and has shown that he is able to defend quicker guards and wings on the perimeter. 

Smith definitely makes sense for the Magic as they need a franchise star they can build around and change the fortunes of the organization.

Some mocks, however, have Gonzaga star Chet Holmgren going first overall, while others have made the case for Duke's Paolo Banchero to be the top pick.

Nonetheless, Orlando still has some time to mull over this franchise-altering decision. A lot could still change between today and June 23.

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