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Rockets Rookie Jabari Smith Jr.: Best Player in Draft?

The Auburn forward could have been the No. 1 pick in the draft.

With the Houston Rockets taking Jabari Smith Jr. with the third pick in the draft, many fans and experts declared it a steal as the 6-10 Auburn forward was considered to be the consensus top player.

To learn more about the Rockets rookie, we spoke with Auburn Daily contributor Zac Blackerby graciously answered some questions we had regarding Smith.

1. Why is Jabari Smith the best player in the draft?

Jabari Smith can score from anywhere on the floor. With him having the purest shot in the NBA Draft, it's easy to see why he was able to score at will for the Auburn Tigers. His defense is strong as well. His length paired with his effort on the defensive end makes him a strong asset on the defensive end. No player meant more to their team than Jabari Smith to Auburn last year and he carried them to an SEC Championship.

2. What can you say about Smith that won't be found in a box score?

He makes his teammates better. Also, his will and desire to win makes him elite.

3. What will Smith's biggest weakness be on the NBA level?

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Putting the ball on the ground and creating his own shot. I think he will put the work in to add that to his game but as he currently sits, this is a weakness to what he brings to the floor.

4. If everything goes right, what is Smith's ceiling in the NBA?

Admittedly, I'm not the biggest follower of the NBA but his size and length paired with his ability to score from anywhere on the floor could lead him to be an elite player.

5. What do you think is Smith's likeliest career trajectory in the NBA?

He will need to help whoever drafts him take a step forward as a franchise. Hopefully, he can become an All-Star a few years into his time in the NBA.

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