Charles Barkley weighs in on Jabari Smith Jr.'s chances to go No. 1 overall in 2022 NBA Draft
Charles Barkley was a big fan of Jabari Smith Jr. this past season at Auburn as the freshman forward developed into a player in the running to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.
Smith drew comparisons to Kevin Durant, one of the best scorers in NBA history, during his one year at Auburn. Now, he’s ready to get his pro career started.
So, will he be the No. 1 overall pick? Barkley said it depends on which team gets that No. 1 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft lottery (via 247Sports):
“If I had the No. 1 pick, I’d say there’s three guys (who could) go No. 1,” Barkley said Wednesday before the 2022 Regions Tradition celebrity golf event in Hoover. “I think (Paolo) Banchero and Jabari are going to be able to play right away because of their body type. That kid Chet Holmgren is a terrific player, but he’s probably 30-40 pounds from making a difference in the NBA.
“All three are worthy of the No. 1 pick, but I think it depends on what situation you’re in when the lottery plays out.”
Smith, Banchero and Holmgren will all be watching closely to see which teams nab the top 3 picks. They’re almost certain to go No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3, in some order.