Jabari Smith Jr., Tari Eason named to NBA’s All-Rookie second team

One year after the Rockets had 2021 first-round pick Jalen Green receive All-Rookie first-team honors, Houston can enjoy a further endorsement of its young talent. Two of its 2022 first-round selections were named to the 2022-23 All-Rookie second team.

In Monday’s announcement from the NBA, rookie forwards Jabari Smith Jr. and Tari Eason were voted to the second team along with Detroit’s Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren and San Antonio’s Jeremy Sochan. The first team consisted of Orlando’s Paolo Banchero, Oklahoma City’s Jalen Williams, Utah’s Walker Kessler, Sacramento’s Keegan Murray and Indiana’s Bennedict Mathurin.

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Of the 100-person media voting panel, 70 voted Smith to the second team, and one voter had him on the first team. That gave him 72 total points (a first-team vote counts for two points), which was easily enough for Smith to make the 2022-23 second team.

Eason, on the other hand, held off Indiana’s Andrew Nembhard for the final spot on the second team by the slimmest of margins, 47 points to 46. Eason finished with 43 second-team votes and two first-team votes, while Nembhard had 45 second-team votes but no first-team votes. That first-team discrepancy was the difference.

Smith played in 79 of Houston’s 82 games and started all of those, averaging 12.8 points (40.8% FG, 30.7% on 3-pointers) and 7.2 rebounds in 31 minutes. Meanwhile, Eason was one of only two players on the Rockets (joining KJ Martin) to play in all 82 games, having averaged 9.3 points (44.8% FG, 34.3% on 3-pointers), 6.0 rebounds, and 1.2 steals in 21.5 minutes. He made five starts.


Smith was drafted at No. 3 overall out of Auburn, while Eason was picked at No. 17 after playing at LSU. As prospects, both forwards were well-regarded for their defensive intensity and versatility, and that’s a big part of their future value proposition as they supplement a young Houston core that already has strong scoring and playmaking from Green, Kevin Porter Jr. and Alperen Sengun.


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Story originally appeared on Rockets Wire