It is a great time of year to be a basketball fan.
We have just had an amazing few months of the regular season, followed by March Madness, which was in turn followed by the playoffs. And now, we are being treated to an amazing Summer League.
The Summer League features some of the most exciting newly drafted and undrafted players. It gives the teams a chance to see the players in action and test out some new pairings and team combinations. You can find the best NBA championship odds here.
One of the players that we have seen in action during the Summer League this year is Jabari Smith Jr. In the 2022 Draft, he was the third overall pick and he was snapped up by the Houston Rockets.
Today, we will be looking at his life so far and what the future might hold for this player.
What Is The Draft And How Does It Work?
The Draft is an amazing feature of American sports.
Every year, graduating college athletes can enter themselves into the Draft. The 30 teams of the NBA are then allowed to pick two players each from the list of eligible players.
What makes the Draft really special is that the teams take it in turn to pick. With the team that came last overall in the previous season getting to pick first.
This system allows for the smaller teams with less money to get hold of quality players and it also makes the league a lot more competitive than it would be otherwise.
In other sports leagues around the world, the richest teams can buy up all the best players, which keeps them winning, and prevents the other teams from making money and being able to compete.
In the NBA, teams take it in turn to pick and there are two rounds of picking. Sometimes teams trade their places or pick with other teams as part of other trade deals.
Teams can lose their Draft picks as punishment for breaking NBA rules.
Jabari Smith Jr was picked 3rd overall in the 2022 Draft.
The Houston Rockets are a 56 year old basketball team based in Huston, Texas. They have only won the NBA Finals twice – in 1994 and 1995.
Smith will be joining the Houston Rockets this season, who came bottom of the league for two years in a row and they are hoping that by suring up their offense they can end this trend in 2022-23. Before signing Smith, last year they brought on Jalen Green as a shooting guard. When the Rockets announced they would be bringing on Smith, many fans were excited because the pair have similar playing styles and could work well together up-front.
Smith Early Years
Jabari Smith Jr is a 19 year old basketball player who was born in Tyrone, Georgia. His father was an NBA player (Jabari Smith Sr, if you were wondering why you recognized the name).
In high school, Smith Jr averaged 24.5 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks per game. In his final year, he really impressed and was named Mr. Georgia Basketball, Georgia Gatorade Player of the Year, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution All-Classification Player of the Year.
At the end of his final year, he was named a 5 star recruit and was given scholarship offers by Auburn, Tennessee, Georgia, LSU, Georgia Tech, and North Carolina. He ended up committing to Auburn.
Smith only spent one year in college, this was enough to make him eligible for the NBA. In his first year, he was named SEC Freshman of the Year and was put on the All-SEC team.
When he announced that he would be joining the NBA 2022 Draft, he was projected to be a Top 3 pick, if not the first pick overall.
In fact, many were shocked when Magic passed over Smith in exchange for Paolo Banchero. He ended up being picked third overall by the Rockets.
Summer League 2022
The Houston Rockets play in the Las Vegas Summer League.
This year they lost to the Orlando Magic, they beat the San Antonio Spurs, and finally, they lost to the Sacramento Kings.
Smith has played in all three matches. He made his debut for the Rockets against Magic, when they lost 91-77. Smith did not play for the whole match but he did score 10 points.
He scored 12 points in the next match. And in the final match, he scored 19 points and was the second highest scorer of the match.
Smith Jr is the son of Jabari Smith Sr, who was a professional basketball player in the NBA between 2000 and 2005. He was picked in the second round of the Draft.
He played for the Kings, the 76ers, and the Nets. After playing in the NBA, Smith Sr moved to Europe to play in the Italian and Spanish professional leagues.
Smith Sr’s cousin, Kwame Brown, was also an NBA player, in fact, he was the first pick in the 2001 Draft.