Jabari Smith Jr. jumps to number 1, but the team with the best pick may be more important than ever – The Athletic

Before I throw myself into the spotlight, I think it’s worth setting the scene a bit.

The 2022 NBA Draft is not considered particularly strong by evaluators at this time. The top of the class is solid, not spectacular. The middle of the lottery has a lot of questions. There is more uncertainty about players in the back half of the first round than I can remember in a draft, largely for a number of reasons.

First, the 2022 concept scouting and development process has been uniquely interrupted due to COVID-19. Many of the players involved in this class don’t have as much tape and haven’t been seen by the judges as often as in previous classes. Plus, they haven’t played that many major games due to the stop-start of their high school careers and AAU seasons. In addition, the Omicron variant of COVID-19 is starting to wreak havoc on the collegiate schedule. In a class with so much uncertainty to begin with, many players just haven’t been given as many opportunities to be seen as others. Therefore, I would expect a significant uproar from this draft board for the remainder of the collegiate season. I wouldn’t be surprised if the conference tournaments and the NCAA tournament play an even bigger role in the draft than usual.

At this point, the team that gets the number 1 overall pick will have a huge influence on who becomes number 1. Anthony Davis. I would rather say there is a good group of four players at the top in Jabari Smith Jr.


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