Draft Rumors: Magic, Smith, Pacers, Sharpe, Jovic, More

Echoing what ESPN’s Jonathan Givony reported last month, Jeremy Woo of SI.com says the “general expectation” around the league is that Jabari Smith is the favorite to be picked first overall by the Magic in the 2022 NBA draft. Woo notes that Orlando is doing its due diligence on several prospects at the top of this year’s draft class, but his “gut feeling” is that the team will ultimately land on Smith.

Woo’s latest mock draft for SI.com includes several other interesting tidbits. Here are a few highlights:

  • Keegan Murray and Jaden Ivey are the two prospects most frequently linked to the Pacers by rival teams, though it’s unclear if either of them will still be available when Indiana picks at No. 6, Woo writes, adding that No. 6 appears to be Murray’s floor.
  • Shaedon Sharpe earned some buzz at last month’s draft combine, but “some of that excitement has turned to trepidation” since teams left Chicago, according to Woo who suggests that Sharpe’s individual workouts will go a long way toward determining how he’s regarded by lottery teams.
  • Woo has heard that Serbian wing Nikola Jovic would like to come to the NBA right away, so he won’t necessarily be a draft-and-stash pick.
  • Some people around the NBA believe the Thunder may look to package their No. 12 pick and a future pick or two to acquire a second top-10 selection, says Woo. Oklahoma City also controls the second overall pick.
  • Rival teams believe the Knicks will likely target a point guard or a big man at No. 11, per Woo, who believes it’s possible both Mark Williams and Jalen Duren will be available at that spot. TyTy Washington‘s name has also come up in Woo’s conversations as a player to watch at No. 11.Washington worked out on Monday for the Knicks and told reporters, including Ian Begley of SNY.tv (Twitter link) that he also workouts on tap with the Pelicans (No. 8), Spurs (No. 9), Wizards (No. 10), and Cavaliers (No. 14).
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