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KOC doesn’t buy Jabari Smith Jr. is a lock to go first overall in 2022 NBA draft to Orlando Magic

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In his latest Spotify live green room, The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor said he has heard Auburn forward Jabari Smith Jr. getting taken first by the Orlando Magic isn’t a done deal yet.

“A lot of reports say it is Jabari Smith Jr. I am not sure if I buy that; most NBA people that I talk to are not sold on that either,” said O’Connor.

Of course, it is that time of the year when rumors and reports are at an all-time high as agents and teams try to gain public leverage for themselves as the 2022 NBA draft quickly approaches. So I’m not totally sure just how much stock I would put into this — especially considering the near-consensus among national mock drafts for the last few weeks has been Smith Jr. is going to the Magic. But O’Connor is legit, and if he’s saying something then it should not be easily scoffed at. We’ll just have to see what happens on June 23.

Of course, this affects the Oklahoma City Thunder because they own the second overall pick, so if Smith Jr. isn’t the guy for the Magic, then Gonzaga forward Chet Holmgren likely is. That means the Thunder will get Smith Jr. with their pick instead of the widely assumed Holmgren. But considering this is a two-man draft, the Thunder win either way.

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2022 NBA mock drafts: Oklahoma City Thunder June draft projections