5. Jalen Smith – Maryland
If Sacramento is looking to select a wing player as Vecenie hinted at, one of the four previously mentioned players will surely be available at pick 12. But Jalen Smith from Maryland could end up being the “perfect” fit alongside Marvin Bagley.
Smith is a 6 foot 10 inches sophomore that is beloved by The Kings Herald draft specialist, Bryant West. Bagley needs someone alongside him who spaces the floor and Jalen Smith knocked down 36.8 percent of shots from outside in his sophomore campaign on a relatively low volume of 2.8 attempts per game. He also has flashed some Harry Giles-esque passing to go along with his impressive athleticism and finishing that allowed him to finish the year shooting 53.8 percent from the field.
Bryant buys into Smith being able to gain strength to handle centers at the next level, and he did display some promising shot-blocking capabilities, averaging 2.4 rejections on the year. While he is often mocked slightly outside of the first round, Bryant’s logic makes sense to me as a longterm Bagley pairing and every player in this range is going to have questions attached to them.
The versatility of Jalen Smith’s offense will catch the eye of many teams throughout the association, and if his defense can progress as Bryant hopes then he may be correct in his projection – although I would prefer one of the wings mentioned previously.
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