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'Most NBA Teams' Believe The Orlando Magic Will Pick Jabari Smith With No. 1 Overall Pick

Jabari Smith

The Orlando Magic finally caught a break when they lucked out with the first overall pick in the upcoming draft. At first, experts assumed Gonzaga star Chet Holmgren would be the one Orlando picked up.

Now, most insiders and team personnel expect the Magic will pick Jabari Smith instead. ESPN's Jonathan Givony dropped the most recent update in an article:

While Magic executives have made it clear they will conduct a thorough process — even extending beyond the widely believed top three prospects in Smith, Holmgren and Paolo Banchero — most NBA teams firmly believe that’s a formality and that Smith is all but assured to become the top pick. Smith, for his part, appears thrilled with that development. So is Holmgren over his looming marriage with the Oklahoma City Thunder, which is also the overwhelming expectation from NBA executives with whom we spoke at the draft combine.

While some are surprised to hear the news, picking Chet with the top pick was never a given for the Magic. In fact, last week, Adrian Wojnarowski confirmed that it was still a tossup between Holmgren and Smith:

"We'll see how this shakes out, but certainly I think Chet Holmgren of Gonzaga and Jabari Smith of Auburn... I think the consensus right now is those are really the two players competing for No. 1 with the Magic," said Woj.

So, right now, the draft order looks something like this: Jabari at 1 to Orlando, Chet at 2 to OKC, and Paolo Banchero at 3 to Houston. Everything else after that is still mostly up in the air.

So far, both players seem happy with how things are playing out. We will see soon enough how their careers shape up.