Tide and Tiger NBA Draft Recap: Jabari Smith Goes 3rd Overall

Although Jabari Smith Jr. of Auburn was long expected to be the first selection of the NBA Draft, ESPNs Adrian Wojnarowski surprised fans just a little while before the event when he announced that Duke’s Paolo Banchero was firmly in play to be the pick.

Low and behold, the Orlando Magic ended up selecting Banchero first overall, with Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren going second and Smith falling to the Houston Rockets at third overall.

Another Auburn star, big man Walker Kessler, had a bit more of a wait to hear his name called, falling to 22nd to the Minnesota Timberwolves. It is the first time in Auburn program history that they had two players selected in the first round of the draft.

For Alabama, the evening was not quite as fruitful. JD Davison, who many felt would have benefitted from another year at Alabama, fell all the way to 53rd to the Boston Celtics. The other two Alabama players in the draft, Keon Ellis and Jaden Shackelford, both went unselected. Ellis has signed a two-way contract with the Sacramento Kings, and Shackelford has a deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder.