PF: Jabari Smith Jr.
Many thought Smith Jr. would be the number one overall pick in 2022, but the Magic selected Paolo Banchero. It caused the 6’10 forward to slip to third overall where the Rockets were ecstatic to land him. There were some growing pains in year one, but Smith Jr. has an incredibly high ceiling and continues to improve.
In his 24 games after the All-Star break, Smith Jr. averaged 14.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 0.9 blocks in 33.5 minutes per game. He shot 44.6 percent from the field and 77.1 percent on his free throws. The 20-year-old will be better in year two and has All-Star potential.
The 6’10 forward must improve on both ends of the floor. If he reaches his ceiling, Smith Jr. should be able to guard any player on the floor, score 20 points a night, and be an elite rebounder.
Expect a small step forward in year two, but he will be 25 years old in 2028 and just entering his prime. How much better can Jabari Smith Jr. get? The former third overall pick will be a key part of the Houston Rockets build moving forward. He is an important puzzle piece and his development is crucial to the team's success.