Latest NBA mock features both of Auburn’s big men going in round 1


While the NFL draft isn’t far away, the NBA draft is closing in as well. As the basketball comes to a close next weekend, Auburn Wire will be monitoring the draft scene as it pertains to Jabari Smith and Walker Kessler.

Both players were featured in the latest mock draft from For The Win. While many expect Smith to be a top-two selection, just where is Kessler going to land?

Jabari Smith, Pick 01.02

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(Jake Crandall/USA TODAY NETWORK)

What FTW Says…

Despite a disappointing finish in the tournament, there is little reason to have doubt in Jabari Smith. It is rate to find an 18-year-old who is 6-foot-10 and can shoot 42% on 3-pointers.

Smith also carries the athleticism to throw down one of the best dunks of March Madness. Smith could be the missing piece to a young core that already has a lot of talent in Orlando.

Jabari Smith has consistently been mocked in that No. 2 spot for a while now and nothing he has done recently has changed that. The 6’10” forward has the length to be a problem and has one of the best jump shots in all of college basketball. Smith is likely a day one contributor for whichever lottery team comes to the podium to select him.

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Walker Kessler, Pick 01.25

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Eakin Howard/Getty Images

What FTW Says…

Some evaluators have compared Auburn’s Walker Kessler to Milwaukee’s Brook Lopez.

The two players have similar roles on the defensive end of the floor and if Kessler’s jump shot comes around more often, they could potentially mirror each other on offense as well. If his career looks even 75% like what Lopez has had in the NBA, that is an outstanding pick this late in the first round.

Walker Kessler landing at pick No. 25 to the Milwaukee Bucks would put the 7’1″ center in a great spot. He would join a team already competing for NBA Finals, after winning it all in the 2021 season. Kessler is ready to help on the defensive side for any team right now. He has the size and length to be a rim protector and glass cleaner. He just needs to develop a more consistent presence on the offensive side of the ball.

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