Live stream, how to watch, when does it start, when is it, mock draft, which Aussies could get drafted, who has first pick, where is it, Jabari Smith Jr., Chet Holmgren, Dyson Daniels

US college star Jabari Smith Jr. is strongly tipped to be chosen with the top pick by the Orlando Magic when the 2022 NBA Draft takes place on Friday (AEST).

The 19-year-old Smith, who excelled for Auburn University’s Tigers this year during his only season as a college player, has emerged as the bookmaker’s favorite to be chosen first in Thursday’s annual scramble for the top collegiate talent.

Watch Live Coverage of The 2022 NBA Draft with ESPN on Kayo. Starts this Friday 9:30 AM AEST. New to Kayo? Try 14-Days Free Now>

The 6ft 10in power forward impressed for the Tigers in a college season that saw him average 16.9 points per game along with 7.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists.

Smith, whose father Jabari played four seasons in the NBA, is also a distant cousin of Kwame Brown, the No. 1 pick in the 2001 draft.

Brown’s NBA career ought to be a cautionary tale for Smith and other hopefuls in the draft, where top picks often fail to live up to lofty expectations.

Brown, who ended his professional career with a scoring average of just 6.6 points per game, is routinely described as one of the “biggest busts” in NBA draft history.

There are strong grounds, however, for believing that Smith may have little difficulty living up to his expected top billing.

Jabari Smith Jr. (right) is expected to be the first pick of the 2022 NBA Draft. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

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The teenager has a rare combination of size and shooting touch, with deadly accuracy from three-point range and an athleticism likely to make him a defensive asset for any team that ends up recruiting him.

Smith’s biggest rival for the No. 1 pick is expected to be Gonzaga University’s Chet Holmgren, who stands an imposing 7ft tall.

The 20-year-old Bulldogs standout also offers a combination of elite ball-handling and footwork as well as being an expert shot-blocker. Holmgren averaged 14.1 points per game with 9.9 rebounds for Gonzaga.

If Orlando fail to pick Holmgren with the first choice, he is almost certain to go to the Oklahoma City Thunder with the second pick.

James Jones, an assistant coach with the US Team at last year’s Under-19 World Cup that Holmgren played in, describes him as a “Kevin Durant kind of player.”

“He has great instincts. He’s the kind of guy that can do multiple different things, ”Jones told AFP.

Chet Holmgren has been likened to Kevin Durant. (Photo by Joe Buglewicz / Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

“He’s not one kind of player, he can do a lot of different stuff, very versatile.

“As a kid, leader, hard worker, great person, very friendly, very outgoing, and very dedicated into becoming the best basketball player he can.”

“He’s a Kevin Durant kind of player in terms of his skill level, to be able to do some of those things. He’s obviously not Kevin Durant. But he has that skill, a similar skill set. ”

Other talent in the top echelon of the draft on Thursday includes Duke University’s Paolo Banchero, tipped to be taken by the Houston Rockets with the third pick.

Jaden Ivey, who averaged 17.3 points per game for Purdue, could also feature high in the draft, with the Sacramento Kings lurking as a possible destination for the 20-year-old.

WHEN IS IT?

The NBA Draft takes place on Friday, June 24.

HOW TO WATCH?

You can catch every second of the 2022 NBA Draft with ESPN on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try 14-Days Free Now>

WHAT TIME DOES IT START?

Coverage of this year’s NBA Draft begins at 9:30 am AEST.

WHERE IS IT?

This year’s NBA draft takes place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. It will be the ninth-straight time that the in-person draft has been held at the venue.

WHO HAS FIRST PICK?

The Orlando Magic holds the first pick which they secured via the draft lottery.

WHICH AUSSIES COULD BE DRAFTED?

Dyson Daniels is the Aussie who is set to join an NBA team and has been tipped by almost every NBA expert to be a top ten pick in the Draft.

Another Aussie who could be selected is Luke Travers, who played with the Perth Wildcats in the NBL last season. He holds hope of being a second-round pick but it doesn’t look likely.

MOCK DRAFT

This mock draft is an aggregation of the top media outlets via HoopsHype.com.

1st (Orlando Magic): Jabari Smith

2nd (Oklahoma City Thunder): Chet Holmgren

3rd (Houston Rockets): Paolo Banchero

4th (Sacramento Kings): Jaden Ivey

5th (Detroit Pistons): Keegan Murray

6th (Indiana Pacers): Dyson Daniels

7th (Portland Trail Blazers): Bennedict Mathurin

8th (New Orleans Pelicans): Shaedon Sharpe

9th (San Antonio Spurs): Johnny Davis

10th (Washington Wizards): AJ Griffin

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