A consensus “top-three” for the 2022 NBA Draft is beginning to form between Auburn’ forward Jabari Smith Jr., Gonzaga’ forward/center Chet Holmgren, and Duke’ forward Paolo Banchero.
Smith Jr., 18, is listed by Auburn Athletics at 6-10, 220 pounds.
This season, Smith Jr. is averaging 16.2 points and 6.8 rebounds on 44%/43%/81% shooting splits.
Smith Jr. projects as a versatile wing with plus size, plus perimeter shooting, and plus defensive capability.
Holmgren, 19, is listed by Gonzaga Athletics at 7-0, 195 pounds.
This season, Holmgren is averaging 14.4 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 3.4 blocks on 62%/45%/75% shooting splits, via ESPN.
Holmgren projects as an elite rim protector with plus-plus perimeter shooting at the center position.
However, Holmgren, who was once heralded as the consensus top prospect in the 2022 NBA Draft, will need to gain significant strength in order to compete on the interior with NBA centers ~75-100 pounds heavier than he is.
Banchero, 19, is listed by Duke Athletics at 6-10, 250 pounds.
This season, Banchero is averaging 16.6 points and 8.3 rebounds on 46%/29%/77% shooting splits.
Banchero projects as a stretch-four/undersized big with plus shot-creating ability and plus defensive capability at the forward position.
However, Banchero’s perimeter shooting remains a significant question mark, which will undoubtedly cause some scouts to question his position fit in the NBA.