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Sports Illustrated

Diving Into the NBA Draft Pool with SI’s Jeremy Woo

On the Friday edition, Howard Beck welcomes SI draft expert Jeremy Woo to discuss his latest mock draft and this week’s lottery results. Why is Jabari Smith his No. 1 prospect? Is Chet Holmgren a sure thing or a massive risk? Should the Rockets grab Paolo Banchero to pair with Jalen Green? What should the Kings do at No. 4? Can the Blazers get Dame help at No. 7?

The following transcript is an excerpt from The Crossover NBA podcast. Listen to the full episode on podcast players everywhere or on SI.com.

Howard Beck: After the lottery, the draft order is set, you were there. Our own Chris Mannix was in the room where it happened, watching the lottery balls do their thing. You were on the outside, covering the public version of it. And it’s already been kind of an interesting week. What did you pick up, whether at the lottery itself or in the combine stuff itself so far this week? Any interesting buzz around the gym with players or teams? Anything you're particularly keeping an eye on as this winds down?

Jeremy Woo: I think a lot of people are definitely wondering what Oklahoma City is going to do at two, obviously. I don't think it's done-done, but the general assumption I am hearing is most people agree, they think Orlando will take Jabari Smith, who is our top prospect. That’s what I would do if I were them. So it doesn't shock me that that's what people think. But, you know, we'll see what happens with that. But a lot of chatter about what OKC will do, whether or not Chet Holmgren will be their guy, or if they'll take Banchero. And I would say the other interesting thing is Shaedon Sharpe, who was at Kentucky this year, but did not play, but is looking like a top-five or -six pick. And he had his pro day on Monday, which you know, most people around the NBA would agree is kind of a waste of time. But he did some impressive stuff in the workout where you can just see, and I’ve seen him play before, but he’s such a good athlete and a good shooter and he can create space off the dribble, so I think he is kind of creating some buzz as to how high can he go.

Howard Beck: So this draft class, always various opinions out there in assessing these guys, but give me your assessment Jeremy, of just the depth of this draft class. And when I say depth, I mean franchise changers. Not necessarily like superstars, but basically how many teams walked away happy with their position on Tuesday? How deep does the talent go where teams are actually like, O.K., we will be really happy on draft night if we get this guy