It’ll take a miracle in the college basketball postseason for a prospect to flirt with Jabari Smith and Chet Holmgren for the 2022 No. 1 overall pick. And that includes Duke’s Paulo Banchero.
Smith — the SEC Freshman of the Year from Auburn — and Holmgren — the unicorn out of Gonzaga — comprise essentially a two-player race in the current odds field.
2022 NBA No. 1 Overall Pick Odds
|Patrick Baldwin Jr.||+50000|
*Odds via FanDuel, as of March 16
Auburn’s highest-ranked recruit in program history hasn’t disappointed in a small sample.
Smith, a former McDonald’s All-American and 2021 Mr. Georgia Basketball, enters the NCAA Tournament averaging 17.1 points and 7.0 rebounds across 32 games.
The six-foot-10 star also has a deft scoring touch, registering a 42.8% clip from beyond the arc and 81.6% mark from the charity stripe.
Holmgren, meanwhile, was rated the consensus No. 1 prospect out of the 2021 cycle.
All the seven-footer has done since stepping onto campus is put on an absolute clinic.
Chet Holmgren continues to leave me speechless pic.twitter.com/mYjE6EvEcC
— Zach Milner (@ZachMilner13) March 8, 2022
Entering March Madness, Holmgren is the nation’s leader in 2-point field-goal percentage (.734), Effective Field Goal percentage (.689) and Defensive Rating (78.0).
Banchero is still technically in the neighborhood at +700, but he isn’t trending in the right direction. He had been considered No. 2 behind Holmgren before Smith’s rise.
Throw a dart.
When is the 2022 NBA Draft?
The 2022 NBA Draft is Thursday, June 23.
The event will be held at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, while the NBA Draft Combine (May 16-22) and Draft Lottery (May 17) will both take place in Chicago.