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#pounditSunday, June 16, 2024

Report: Top 3 picks in NBA Draft likely set

Jabari Smith in his Auburn uniform

Nov 25, 2021; Nassau, BHS; Auburn Tigers guard Wendell Green Jr. (1) and forward Jabari Smith (10) celebrate the win against the Loyola Ramblers in the 2021 Battle 4 Atlantis at Imperial Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA Draft is set to take place on Thursday night, and there apparently is not a whole lot of mystery surrounding how the first few picks will go.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that there is a high level of confidence around the NBA regarding how the top three picks will go. Former Auburn big man Jabari Smith is expected to go first overall to the Orlando Magic. The Oklahoma City Thunder are expected to take Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren at No. 2 and Duke’s Paolo Banchero will likely go No. 3 to the Houston Rockets.

All three of the aforementioned players spent just one season in college. Smith averaged 16.9 points and 7.4 rebounds per game in his lone season with Auburn. Holmgren averaged 14.1 points, 9.9 rebounds and a whopping 3.7 blocks per game. Banchero had 17.2 points and 7.8 rebounds per game with the Blue Devils.

Auburn coach Bruce Pearl obviously thinks Smith is the right choice at No. 1, as evidenced by the swipe he took at another top prospect this week.


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