It's no secret that the Houston Rockets will finish the season with one of the worst records in the league. As it currently stands, their record of 18-54 would guarantee a top-five pick in this year's draft.
With a 14% chance at the number one overall pick, the Rockets have a chance to add another exceptional talent alongside Jalen Green. There has been a consensus among NBA draft gurus that the top three picks, in no particular order, will be Jabari Smith, Chet Holmgren, and Paolo Banchero.
If given the first pick, who should the Rockets take? Today, we will be examining a scenario if the team selects Jabari Smith.
Smith, a 6'10 stretch four from Auburn has been labeled a "safe pick" from draft experts given the fact that his game should translate immediately to the NBA.
This past season, he averaged 17 points per game while shooting an outstanding 42% from the 3-point line on over five attempts. In today's game, teams value 3-point shooting highly, and Smith's ability to shoot from everywhere is the reason why he could go number one.
Offense isn't the only thing Smith provides. He has shown solid instincts on the defensive end. Flashing anticipation to get blocks and steals without having to gamble.
Smith is also as versatile as it comes. He can guard 1-5, is an exceptional on-ball defender, deadly on the perimeter, and can also hold his own ground in the post.
The Rockets truly lack size with the only two big men actively playing are Christian Wood and Alperen Sengun. Jabari seems to fill the void at the power forward position because it is unclear if Wood is in the team's long-term plans, and although Sengun has made strives at the defensive end; it's uncertain if he can be the team's anchor on defense. Smith solves a lot of the Rockets' current problems, while also being a high upside player.