Jabri Smith Jr. has found a home in the NBA after being selected by the Houston Rockets with a third pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. In this year’s draft, Jabri was expected to take the lead by 1 or 2, but a last-minute jump for Paolo Banchero would have left Smith with a few choices down.
Although Banchero and Holmgren went ahead of him, Smith was guaranteed a top-three pick. However, falling to two rivals in the draft board, the player needs to create a kind of emotion and it becomes clear on the face of the opponent after the first two selections are announced.
Until yesterday, Jabri was a favorite to go to No. 1 overall, with many believing that magic had been sold on him. He may have made some promises to the player, but it turned out to be a smoke screen for his real target, Paolo Banchero. OKC doesn’t miss the opportunity to link a center like Chat with their Young Core, meaning Banchero had no choice but to be drafted by Houston.
Jabri should be happy, because he will definitely be a shining star on the rockets. While he doesn’t mind sharing a few minutes with Franz Wagner-like style, playing in the more empty Houston frontcourt after trading Christian Wood will give him a better chance to show off his skills. He was strong on any of the three teams.
His face told the story of being disappointed with the expectations he had of himself. Jabri will bring this frustration to the season and hopefully that energy can become the Rookie of the Year and prove to Magic and Thunder that they have chosen the wrong people over him.