With the NBA Draft fast approaching, many different sports information outlets have been providing mock drafts.
It is always interesting to see where these different mock drafts have former Auburn stars, Jabari Smith and Walker Kessler. It is almost universal to see both Smith and Kessler going in the first round, but different outlets have these two in various places in the first round.
I have seen Smith in different mock drafts being selected first all the way to fourth, and I have seen Kessler being selected somewhere in the range of 18 to 30.
Different sports news outlets have different opinions on how the draft will play out, but the one universal theme is that Kessler and Smith will both be selected in the first round.
This is great for Coach Pearl and the Auburn Basketball program since if these two go in the first round, they will be Auburn’s third and fourth first-round picks in the last four years.
This is a great indication of how far Coach Pearl has brought the program in his time on the Plains.
Let’s look at where Sports Illustrated’s Mock Draft has these two Auburn players being selected.
Jabari Smith First Overall Orlando Magic
This mock draft has Smith being selected first overall and going to the Orlando Magic. If this were to happen, it would bring two former Auburn stars together. Chuma Okeke plays for the Magic currently, and if Smith were to be selected by the Magic, it would be easy for Auburn fans to root for them. The Magic have not been very successful these last few seasons, but they have a lot of young talent, especially at the guard position. Adding Smith to this team could help the young Magic become a relevant team in the NBA sooner than later. If this prediction were accurate, it would make Smith Auburn’s first-ever number one pick in basketball.
Walker Kessler 25th Overall San Antonio Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs have three first-round picks in this upcoming draft which could help them to become a great team in the NBA. They are looking for help at the one and three positions with their first two picks in the first round, and with their third, they need a big man. Kessler would be a perfect fit for the Spurs and would have an immediate impact on the team. Kessler brings elite defense, which NBA teams are looking for. I believe that Kessler would have a very good career with the Spurs, and his path to becoming a starter would not be that farfetched.
The NBA Draft will take place on June 23rd. This will be an exciting day for these two young men and the Auburn family as we wait to send our two former basketball stars to the NBA.