Jabari Smith Favored to Be No. 1 Overall Pick in 2022 NBA Draft

Auburn Tigers forward Jabari Smith.
Auburn Tigers forward Jabari Smith. / Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

There may not be a more complete player in college basketball than Auburn forward Jabari Smith, and he’s rightfully taken the top spot to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.

WynnBET has Smith at -150 in its latest odds, and it’s because of the already pro-ready game that Smith has displayed in his freshman season at Auburn. He’s shown fantastic ball handling and shooting ability for a 6-foot-10 freshman, and it shows the massive potential he has going forward. 

Odds to Be No. 1 Pick in 2022 NBA Draft

  • Jabari Smith: -150
  • Paolo Banchero: +150
  • Chet Holmgren: +400
  • Jaden Ivey: +800
  • AJ Griffin: +2500
  • Benedict Mathurin: +5000
  • Jaden Hardy: +5000
  • Jalen Duren: +5000
  • Johnny Davis: +10000
  • TyTy Washington: +10000
  • Patrick Baldwin Jr.: +20000
  • Caleb Houstan: +50000
  • Peyton Watson: +50000

Jabari Smith Is the Full Package Offensively

Unlike most collegiate big men, Smith is a fantastic shooter, and as you can see in the clip above, he can score from all three levels. 

Smith has shown the ability to hit the fadeaway jumper out of a post up, but his 3-point shooting may be the most impressive skill he’s shown so far this season. 

The freshman is averaging 16.3 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game while shooting 43.8 percent from the field and 43.3 percent from beyond the arc. His shooting touch is extremely impressive, and it shows what a factor he can be right away as a stretch four or a bigger three in the NBA.

Smith’s game offensively is far more advanced that current NBA Rookie of the Year favorite Evan Mobley, who has burst onto the scene for the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2021-22 season. 

Granted, Mobley is unquestionably a better defender, but Smith’s offensive repertoire at his size and at such a young age is going to be hard to pass up for any team. 

Chet Holmgren and Paolo Banchero were expected to lead this draft class, but Holmgren’s slight build and Banchero’s inconsistency, especially as a shooter, makes Smith the better pick at this point. 

Things can always change as we get closer to the draft, but Jabari Smith has checked all the boxes so far to be the favorite to go No. 1 in the 2022 NBA Draft.