Final NBA mock draft round-up: Maryland's Jalen Smith projected mid-1st round
Maryland center Jalen Smith should hear his name called at some point during the middle of the first round, according to the latest round of mock drafts.
With the NBA draft just hours away, four different experts have Smith falling somewhere between No. 13 and No. 22.
Smith fits the prototype of a modern center in the NBA. He’s a solid rim protector on defense and can roll to the hoop or space the floor on offense.
Here’s where a few of the final NBA mock drafts have Smith headed:
The Athletic (Sam Vecenie): No. 22 overall to the Denver Nuggets
The Ringer (Kevin O’Connor): No. 13 to the New Orleans Pelicans
NBA Big Board (Chad Ford): No. 17 overall to the Minnesota Timberwolves
Sports Illustrated (Jeremy Woo): No. 22 overall to the Denver Nuggets
Vecenie and Woo have him landing in Denver, which would be an interesting fit. He would back up All-NBA center Nikola Jokic and wouldn’t be asked to do too much early on in his career.
Smith had an excellent sophomore campaign at Maryland. He averaged 15.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. He also made 36.8 percent of his 3-pointers and 75 percent of his free throws, demonstrating his potential as at least a league-average shooter.
Defensively, he also posted 2.4 blocks per game and an 88.9 defensive rating per 100 possessions.
The NBA draft begins at 7:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday night.