NBA Rumors: Jabari Smith, Chet Holmgren Among 1st Wave of Draft Green-Room Invites

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJune 9, 2022

CHICAGO,IL - MAY 17: NBA Prospect, Jabari Smith poses for a portrait during the 2022 NBA Draft Combine Circuit on May 17, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images

The NBA reportedly identified some of the top draft prospects by sending out its first batch of 10 green-room invitations.

ESPN's Jonathan Givony reported Auburn's Jabari Smith, Gonzaga's Chet Holmgren, Duke's Paolo Banchero, Purdue's Jaden Ivey, Iowa's Keegan Murray, Kentucky's Shaedon Sharpe and Duke's AJ Griffin were among those invited.

The biggest question is which player will go No. 1 overall to the Orlando Magic.

Orlando's choice isn't necessarily a slam dunk decision. Smith, Holmgren and Banchero all made cases during the collegiate season to be the top player drafted.

Smith was a consensus All-American in his one college season while averaging 16.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.1 steals and 1.0 blocks per game. The ability to defend multiple positions stands out, and he can pose a matchup nightmare on the other end with his athleticism and outside shooting.

Holmgren was also a consensus All-American in his one college season and figures to be a double-double threat from the moment he steps onto an NBA court.

He is also an elite rim-protector and averaged 3.7 blocks in 26.9 minutes per game at Gonzaga. The big man could be a cornerstone for the Magic alongside young playmakers Cole Anthony, Jalen Suggs and Franz Wagner.

As with the other two, Banchero was also a consensus All-American as a freshman and averaged 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game while leading the Blue Devils to the Final Four.

He fits into the positionless basketball approach that many teams operate in the NBA and has no shortage of offensive upside.