There’s no guarantee what will happen with the top selections in this year’s NBA Draft once they hear their names called and put on their new team’s hats Thursday night, but according to ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski, the order of the top three is now a near foregone conclusion.
If Smith, Holmgren and Banchero end up being taken first, second and third, respectively, it would represent somewhat of an oddity, and something that hasn’t happened in five years.
During his one season at Auburn, Smith averaged 16.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.0 blocks per game across 34 contests while helping the Tigers advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The 19-year-old was named First Team All-SEC, a Second Team consensus All-American and the SEC Rookie of the Year for the 2021-2022 campaign.
Holmgren combined with upperclassman Drew Timme in the frontcourt, and others, to guide Gonzaga to the Elite Eight and finished his lone college season averaging 14.1 points, 9.9 rebounds, 3.7 blocks and 1.9 assists per contest over 32 games. The 20-year-old was named First Team All-WCC, a Second Team consensus All-American, the WCC Defensive Player of the Year and the WCC Rookie of the Year.
Banchero helped lead Duke to the Final Four during Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski’s final season at the helm, posting 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.1 steals per game in 39 contests during his only college campaign. The 19-year-old forward was named First Team All-ACC, a Second Team consensus All-American and the ACC Rookie of the Year.