It would be hard for the Houston Rockets to really miss on their first pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. Auburn's Jabari Smith would be a no-brainer.
The first pick for the Houston Rockets in the 2022 NBA Draft is going to help the team in the short and long term. Any of the guys that should be available with the first five picks have a way of bringing out the best in this young roster, but let's be a bit more optimistic.
The Rockets do have a great chance to win the first overall pick in the class. Even if they don't get that lucky, the second pick may also be able to pair Houston with their best fit on draft night.
Auburn forward Jabari Smith is one of those guys that just seems like a perfect fit with this roster.
The Rockets love their guards and have a bright young center that should move into a starting role if this offseason goes well. The best spots for movement will be at the three and four, and that works out very well for a team that will hopefully pick in the top three.
Smith, Chet Holmgren, and Paolo Banchero look like the best fits for these needs. Smith can play the three or the four, Holmgren can play the four or the five, and Banchero looks like a quality four with some versaility depending on who you pair him with.
Despite there being more concerns with the four role in 2021, mostly with Jae'Sean Tate, Smith would give the Rockets a great three and open the roster up to seeing Christian Wood at the four.
This lineup with Smith, Wood, and Sengun would be 13 inches taller than the one that was on the court for the Rockets a decent chunk of the 2021 season.
Height isn't everything, but it would help get the defense back closer to what Houston had at the start of the season when it still had the size from Daniel Theis.
Smith is a great shooter, especially from three, and has the ability to challenge Eric Gordon's numbers from 2021 or blow Tate's out of the water if he goes to the four.
Regardless of where, Jabari Smith has the size and skillset to fit in on this roster almost anywhere. Assuming the Rockets pick up Tate's team option and hold onto Christian Wood if the trade options aren't great, there is a genuine fit here that has the potential to put Houston in an even better position to compete from day one in 2022 if they are willing to go bigger.
The Rockets would also have the choice to play Smith in his projected best fit at the four if they want to give Tate and Kenyon Martin a better chance to succeed at the three, but Tate absolutely has to be better beyond the arc.
One way or another, Smith is a dominant shooter that is going to quickly make a name for himself at the NBA level. The Rockets need to watch closely.
Some people might argue for Holmgren if the Rockets pick at one, but Smith feels like the way safer option that still has an extremely high ceiling on this roster and fills a need as soon as he joins.