San Antonio Spurs Draft

2022 NBA Mock Draft 4.0: Dust settles on an unpredictable class

Chet Holmgren
Chet Holmgren / Abbie Parr/GettyImages
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2022 NBA Mock Draft
Jabari Smith / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

169. . . Jabari Smith Jr.. 3. player. . Auburn

If I’m in the Houston Rockets' front office and both Banchero and Holmgren are off the board by the 3rd overall pick, that would make this decision a bit less straightforward. Despite his highly questionable fit, I think there’s a chance the Rockets will also consider Jaden Ivey at this spot and perhaps even view him as the better player. In this case, though, I’m not sure that they’ll think he’s better enough than Jabari Smith to warrant going in his direction. 

The Rockets shot the 4th-most threes per game last season and yet only shot them at a higher clip than 10 teams. Adding a young floor spacer that plays elite perimeter defense will do wonders for the team even if Smith never develops a reliable handle. While he may not have the upside of Banchero and Holmgren if he’s unable to develop his handle, 6’10” 3-and-D wings that are generational shooters don’t come around often. 

The only two scenarios in which I can see this going differently are if (1) the Oklahoma City Thunder select Jaden Ivey instead of Holmgren or (2) if the Sacramento Kings put together an offer the Rockets can’t refuse to move one spot up. For the time being, though, I don’t think either of those scenarios come to fruition.