Regarding that mini-drop, Smith said that he had a "chip on his shoulder" on draft night.
He reiterated that stance the next night in a chat with reporters.
Smith could very well be the best player this draft produces when all is said and done. The consensus All-American starred during his lone season at Auburn, averaging 16.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.0 block per game.
Scouts and analysts love Smith. Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report compared Smith to Michael Porter Jr. and Jaren Jackson Jr.
Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer wrote Smith is a "hard worker with an unblockable jump shot and elite versatility on defense, making him a safe pick who still possesses star upside."
And John Hollinger of The Athletic had Smith as his top-rated player.
"Smith projects as a knockdown shooter who can space the floor around Jalen Green’s drives, and a big, switchable defender who can cover for some of the team’s other shortcoming at that end," Hollinger wrote in part.
Smith is also in a good spot in Houston to thrive. He's surrounded by a young, uber-talented group of players to grow and develop with, and he'll be leading the team alongside potential fellow star Jalen Green.
The table is set for Smith to use that chip on his shoulder to achieve greatness, and now we'll see where that leads as the Rockets continue their rebuilding process.