The NBA Draft Lottery Selection has taken place, and the Orlando Magic will officially get the first pick of the 2022 NBA Draft. Now, it’s becoming more and more likely that Auburn basketball star Jabari Smith Jr. will be the first overall pick this summer.
If it happens, Smith would be the first player in Auburn basketball history to be selected as the #1 pick, and even if he isn’t chosen first he is still expected to be the highest-drafted player in program history. He would be the fifth Tiger to be selected in the first five picks, along with Charles Barkley, Chuck Person, Chris Morris, and Isaac Okoro.
What’s more, if Smith is chosen by the Magic as ESPN has predicted, he would become teammates with another former Auburn basketball star in Chuma Okeke, who will begin his third active year in the league next season.
But the Freshman of the Year isn’t the only Auburn player expected to be selected in the first round of the upcoming NBA Draft. ESPN is also projecting that reigning Defensive Player of the Year Walker Kessler will be chosen as the 23rd pick in the first round, heading to the Brooklyn Nets.
Though Smith and Kessler made history plenty of times throughout their season on the Plains, they would be doing it again should they both be drafted in the first round. It would be the first time in program history that the Tigers produce multiple first rounders, and the second consecutive season that the program has put out multiple draft picks following the selections of Sharife Cooper and J.T. Thor in last year’s draft.
With the Orlando Magic in position to take the first player in the 2022 NBA Draft, it’s likely Jabari Smith Jr. will make Auburn basketball history once more.