Some people have already counted Jabari Smith out after a quiet performance in the Summer League, but the Rockets still have a genuine Rookie of the Year candidate on their roster.
It is going to be funny to look back at a lot of these Tweets calling Jabari Smith a 'bust' a year from now. How so many opposing fans can come to that conclusion without watching Smith play a single legitimate game with the Rockets is silly, but what are you going to do with NBA Twitter?
As much as the performances in the Summer Legaue weren't all that flashy or exciting, there is still a ton to love in Houston's newest forward.
From what he brings as an individual on offense and defense to how he plays off the strengths of the other starters, Smith is going to fit with this team like a glove, and that should hopefully help with a legitimate Rookie of the Year campaign.
Paolo Banchero and his current situation should make him the obvious favorite as of now, but none of that is taking injuries or expectations into account.
Banchero was drafted to be the guy in Orlando. A first-overall pick like that is supposed to change cultures and end years of losing. Does anyone think that is coming with this one pick based on the rest of that team?
Unlike Banchero, Smith still has expectations, but he already has a star leader on his team in Jalen Green. Smith doesn't have to force anything, all he has to do is play his game and focus on what he does well; playing defense and shooting from beyond the arc.
The injury to Chet Holmgren has already turned this into a tighter race than some would believe, and while we still wouldn't say to put any money on Smith to win the award outright, it does seem like some people have been a little premature with counting out one of the newest members of the Rockets.
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