NBA Draft Lottery: Jabari Smith Jr believes he could be ‘one of the greatest ever’

on May18
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Auburn standout Jabari Smith Jr. could be the No. 1 pick in next month’s NBA Draft, in which case he would join the young Orlando Magic, the team awarded the top pick on Tuesday.

Smith averaged 16.9 points and 7.4 rebounds per game in his lone year with the Tigers. He was named the SEC Freshman of the Year and won the Wayman Tisdale Award for being the top men’s freshman basketball player in the country.

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Jabari Smith of the Auburn Tigers during the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Bon Secours Wellness Arena on March 20, 2022, in Greenville, South Carolina.

Jabari Smith of the Auburn Tigers during the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Bon Secours Wellness Arena on March 20, 2022, in Greenville, South Carolina.
(Eakin Howard/Getty Images)

Now, the 19-year-old forward has his sights set on the pros. He’s projected to be a top 5 pick along with Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren, Purdue’s Jaden Ivey and Duke’s Paolo Banchero.

“I feel like I can be one of the greatest ever,” Smith told Stadium on Tuesday. “Honestly, like, putting in my work and just how I carry myself and how I view the game and, like, I’ve been around basketball so long and got people around me that just know the game. It’s like, the sky’s the limit.”

NBA DRAFT LOTTERY: MAGIC AWARDED NO. 1 PICK FOR THE FOURTH TIME

Smith was a star from his high school years.

Jabari Smith reacts after the Auburn Tigers beat the Jacksonville State Gamecocks, 80-61, during the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament on March 18, 2022, in Greenville, South Carolina.

Jabari Smith reacts after the Auburn Tigers beat the Jacksonville State Gamecocks, 80-61, during the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament on March 18, 2022, in Greenville, South Carolina.
(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

He helped lead the U.S. to a gold medal in the FIBA Americas Under-16 Championship in Brazil in 2019. He was also a McDonald’s All-American and Mr. Georgia Basketball in 2021.

The Magic will have the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft. It will be the fourth time in their history they have the top pick. In 2004, the last time they received the No. 1 pick, they took Dwight Howard.

Orlando Magic president of basketball operation Jeff Weltman smiles after NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum announced that the Magic have won the first pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, Tuesday, May 17, 2022, in Chicago.

Orlando Magic president of basketball operation Jeff Weltman smiles after NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum announced that the Magic have won the first pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, Tuesday, May 17, 2022, in Chicago.
(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

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Orlando was 22-60 in 2021-22.





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