Floor: Secondary starter
Bullseye: Core starter, high-level defender, high-level shotmaker on mid-high volume top 3-4 player on championship team
Ceiling: Second all star on a contending team, near all-defense player, one of the franchise cornerstones of a contending team
Pass - Grade: 70
Notes: Jabari is not a great passer, but is a solid decision maker. Jabari is pretty good at passing within the flow of the offense, and executes well in his passes out of set plays. Jabari has shown an ability to hit corner shooters from the baseline, pass out of double teams, throw entry passes, and hit the occasional cutter. Jabari also misses open shooters and cutters on a regular basis, particularly on the weak-side when he is in an isolation or a post up. Jabari panic passes when he is forced to pick up his dribble. Guards have to show themselves to Jabari often for him to be able to get rid of the ball. Jabari gets tunnel vision often, and his overall vision isn't great. Jabari makes solid reads in simple early offense situations, but is not a player who is able to manipulate a defense or create a scoring opportunity for a teammate on a broken play. There aren't very many passing opportunities for Jabari to create for others due to his downhill limitations. The large majority of his assists come from good set play execution and passing out of double teams. 2.0 assists and 1.9 turnovers per game for the amount of touches he had per game is not good, and doesn't bode well for his projection to the NBA since it is likely he is not double teamed nearly as often and will also likely receive a drop off in high post touches.
Dribble - Grade: 68
Notes: Jabari is a coordinated ball-handler, but is not an effective one and there is nothing to suggest he will become one. This is due to Jabari's body stiffness, significant lack of burst, and having little to no downhill attacking ability. Jabari has shown solid cross over moves and has flashed hesitations, but they are largely ineffective when they are used in attempts to get downhill. His handle is effective at times in creating more space to get off a jumper, and adding a go-to step-back dribble move should be a top priority for him. Teams will press up into Smith as much as they can due to his lack of downhill ability. Smith cannot attack closeouts, and likely will remain highly limited in his ability to do so. Smith will have to rely on fly-byes and pull-up middies when he is closed out hard on, because his downhill dribbling ability is simply not their and it is something his body will very likely prevent him from ever achieving. Smith's lack of shake and burst are most likely immovable road blocks for Smith's ball-handling development, but his coordination should allow for him to have some go-to moves to allow him to get off jump shots easier. Smith is easily stifled and stripped when going downhill. Smith often is quickly forced to pick up his dribble whenever he puts on the floor in the high-post, and is also forced to whenever help comes which he is regularly late on anticipating. Smith's handle is not a trait that can be developed in the same way a guard would be able to develop his, and is going to be a significant weakness in Smith's offensive projection in the NBA.
3pt shooting - Grade: 95
Notes: Smith is an all-around phenomenal shooter. Smith is a great shooter whether he is balanced or not, and he is money from everywhere on the floor. 42% on 5.5 attempts per game, a volume that needs to increase for him to reach his peak value on offense in the NBA. Smith's lack of ability to move off-ball and to create three point shots for himself may present a struggle for him to get his volume where it needs to be. Smith largely relied on his teammates penetration to set up him up, as well as simply shooting over smaller defenders. Shooting over smaller players will be much more difficult in the NBA, especially when defenders will not have to honor Smith's drives to the basket. Smith's path to high volume 3pt shooting will have to one that is similar to KATs. Will need to speed up his release a bit on C&S opportunities, add a reliable step-back, continue to be a great shooter on contested 3s, run a ton of pick and pop, and add range to a few steps behind the 3 point line. Smith's ability to make off balance threes may help make up for his inability to move without the ball (simple lane filling and relocations on drives is where is at, does not come off screens or pin downs, rarely off of flares). The team that drafts Smith will have to get create in generating 3 point looks for him, most likely having to run screen the screener actions, perimeter flares, Spain PnR, horns, and any action where he can pop to the 3 point line with a smaller defender switched onto him. Jabari was good at walking or using a size-up into a 3 in college, but I'd expect for him to see more perimeter pressure and press in the NBA. His mechanics are money and his shot is remarkably fluid, there is no concern about his shot-making translating. The challenge for Smith will be getting to a high volume, which is something that is 100% required in order for him to be maximized as a floor spacer. Spacing the floor and waiting for kick out opportunities will not suffice.
Mid-range shooting - Grade: 95
Notes: Smith is just as money from the mid-range as he is from 3 point, if not better. Smith loves going to the one-legged fade over smaller defender from the high-post. Can use his handle to get there, which is important. Smith's midrange shots are looks that are much more natural in a college offense. Jabari's team might not enjoy having to run designed high-post entries for Smith when a post-fade is far and away the most likely and highest percentage outcome. Smith shot 48%, 46%, and 46% from the top of the key and break areas in the midrange. Smith will face less doubles but better and bigger defenders instead, so it will be interesting to see how sustainable those numbers will be. Smith's opposing defenses also fought much harder to prevent Smith from getting those looks than NBA defenses will. Jabari's team will have to run some sets to get him these high-post looks to diversify Jabari's shot profile. Jabari will make enough of them to where it won't be detrimental to the teams offense whatsoever, but there are very few offenses where a high-post turnaround jumper is a naturally occurring shot. If Jabari is able to hit this at a high enough clip and can command and improve at passing out of doubles, then that is a source of team offense surrounded around Jabari's strengths and that would be very ideal and raise Jabari's offensive floor. It is just hard to imagine opponents sending a double rather than living with a Jabari post fade, especially when him putting it on the floor will be welcomed by opposing defenses. Jabari is a phenomenal mid-range shooter, but there are concerns about him being able to get to the volume on these shots for it to be considered an immensely valuable skill.
Finishing - Grade: 70
Notes: Jabari didn't shoot great for a 6'10 player at the rim this season, at just 51%. The even larger concern is that he had 93 attempts at the rim in 34 games. The 6'4 Jaden Ivey had 212 rim attempts in 34 games, and shot 59% on them. Ivey is a downhill attacker and Smith is not, but Ivey still had to force his way downhill through a clogged paint. Kessler spaced out to the 3 point line often for Auburn, Smith just simply can't get to the rim. A more fair comparison for Smith may be Holmgren, another perimeter oriented big who struggles to get downhill. In 31 games, Holmgren shot 151 shots at the rim, and made them at a 79.5%!!!!!!!!!! clip. Keegan Murray, a player who projects to have a relatively similar role to Smith and has a pretty similar frame and athleticism compared to Smith shot 66% on 332!!! attempts at the rim this season. Jabari runs the floor hard but is not fast. Jabari isn't a good roller to the basket. He can fight for inside position on smaller players, but prefers to stay out on the perimeter. Jabari isn't a big cutter. He has no consistent way of getting looks at the rim, and when he does has a significant lack of vertical pop to be able to finish at a high clip. A lot of his misses at the rim were from downhill perimeter drives, where he was actually able to gain a step on a defender but failed to gather and rise up to finish. Smith is incredibly easy to recover to when he attacks the basket because of his stiffness and lack of vertical pop. There is nothing to indicate that Smith will be a better or higher volume finisher at the next level, and this is not something that can be fixed or developed too much. Smith will benefit from increased spacing, pace, and possessions but at the end of the day his inability to get to the paint and stiffness and verticality will prevent him from being a reliable paint scorer.
Off-ball playmaking - Grade: 85
Notes: Smith's gravity is an incredibly valuable asset to an offense. Defenders have to stay home on Smith, especially when you take into account that a jump shot is really the only way that he's going to score on you. Smith isn't much of a cutter, he prefers to relocate and space on the perimeter when not involved in an action. Smith could provide significant value as an off-ball screener, due to his size and popping ability.
Offensive rebounding - Grade: 78
Notes: Jabari averaged 1 OREB per game this year. Prefers to hustle back on defense rather than crash. Has a high motor and is physical in his crashes. Gains solid position and has good timing on his crashes.
Offensive Summary: 85
Anyone projecting Smith to be a versatile go-to scorer in the NBA will most likely be disappointed. Smith's game and body simply prevent him from being a versatile scorer. There aren't any elite scorers in the NBA that can't get to the rim or dribble. Not being able to finish at the rim at a high clip or volume is a massive issue when projecting his offensive value. His role will probably very similar to MPJs. Elite shot maker and has an unstoppable high release point, but that's about where his offensive prowess ends. The gravity and shot making will be immensely valuable to any team, and he will be able to slide into a complimentary spacer role nicely and will be one of the best in the league at within his role. Smith's offensive limitations provide a significant barrier on his ceiling. Smith's lack of creation, rim presence, and playmaking will force him to have a mid-tier usage rate. Offense can't really be ran through him, although he will be smart with his touches and his motor and track record suggest his IQ will improve. In building a roster, Smith just isn't a guy who has face of the franchise potential due to his glaring limitations. Smith will still be an awesome and incredibly valuable offensive player, but his expectations need to be reasonable. There's an off-chance that Smith can be effectuve running DHOs and maybe as a short roller, but that would be his ceiling as an offensive player paired with is elite shooting ability. Smith's role will be defined and simple, and will absolutely thrive in any situation where he is not asked to do much. If Smith is your third best offensive player your team will be in a great situation, fourth best you are probably competing for the finals. If he is your best or second offensive player, it is highly doubtful you are in playoff contention unless your best offensive player is Luka or any other heliocentric offensive engine.
Engagement - Grade: 98
Notes: Jabari's defensive engagement is elite, it is essentially his brand. He makes sure to let everyone know just how engaged he is by constantly clapping and showing his exuberance for defense. This was very consistent from Jabari, and it should translate very well. His energy and activity are phenomenal, along with his motor.
Containment - Grade: 93
Notes: Jabari is a great perimeter defender and point of attack for his size, and will thrive in a switchable scheme. Is a good recovery defender when he does get beat. Even though he's stiff, he's great at rotating his hips. He's great at riding on players sides and stopping on a dime. His lateral movement is very good for his size. He absorbs contact in the chest well. Swallows drives and makes it look easy. Will have to defend quick, shiftier, better shooting players in more space in the NBA. Smith relished the opportunity to switch onto guards in college, and had great success when doing so. Smith pressed up as far as half-court and just hounded and smothered ball-handlers. Feet always moving and great at abruptly changing directions. The NBA is much more matchup based than college, and there is not much tape of Jabari locking up elite scoring wings for full games. His length, IQ, motor, and ability to stop/start and change direction have all the makings for an elite wing NBA defender. He projects to be a guy who you will put on Tatum, Luka, Kawhi, LeBron, etc. How he actually does in those matchups remains to be seen, but no one is actually stopping those guys regardless how great of a defender you are. Smith does get beat a few times a game, largely because he always puts himself in position to be beat (which is a good thing). His recovery defense is so good that his elite perimeter defense will undoubtedly transfer over to the NBA, but to what degree is a bit tough to project. Guarding the strong, physical wings who can handle the ball and attack east-west will be a big challenge for Jabari, but he should be able to handle it better than the majority of the league.
Team Defense - Grade: 95
Notes: Jabari is a great team defender. Consistent energy and communication, sets the tone. Incredibly active in his gaps, always on time on his rotations, always has head on a swivel. Fits into any scheme. Motor is always there. Everything you would want in a team defender on defense.
Rim Protection - Grade: 77
Notes: Jabari is tall but is not a primary rim protector, but still managed to get a block a game. Jabari is not a primary rim protector the same way Lauri Markannen or any other 6'10 vertically and athletically challenged player is. Smith is still an ok help rim protector. Good at staying vertical and maximizing his length. Good timing on contest, very good at staying vertical while also collapsing over the top of a defender. Is good at contesting aggressive without fouling. Once you get the angle on Smith it is likely 2 points, and that is something that isn't too difficult for both guards and wings to do when Smith isn't the primary defender. Smith's rim protecting woes prevent him from being a small ball 5, which limits his defensive versatility.
Playmaking - Grade: 84
Notes: Smith averaged 2.1 stocks per game. His constant activity and great timing/positioning allows for Smith to be a solid stocks guy. Has really nice timing on reaches. Plays the passing lanes very well. Only gambles when he knows he'll be able to recover. Maximizes length and is great at being in two places at once, optimizing his chances to make play.
Versatility - Grade: 87
Notes: Jabari can't play the 5 on defense, and can't guard 1s or 2s as his primary defensive matchup. He can still switch 1-4 at a very high level, meaning he is still a very versatile defender. Can fit into any PnR defensive scheme. Fits into any defensive scheme in general.
Defensive Rebounding - Grade: 86
Notes: Jabari is a really solid defensive rebounder. Fights for position, love the physicality. Maximizes length. Great coordination and timing. Motor is always there, so you can always count on him to crash when appropriate. His tendency to guard perimeter players and to run into space in transition reduced his crash opportunities, but is a very strong and effective rebounder when he crashes.
Defensive Summary: 93
Notes: Smith is going to be an awesome, winning NBA defender. His energy, motor, IQ, intensity, are all very important and put him over the edge as a defender and competitor. His ability to stay with perimeter players at his size with his consistency is rare. His defensive ceiling is very, very high. If he somehow becomes a good enough rim protector to play small ball 5 he will be a top defender in the NBA, but that's pretty doubtful. His matchup based defense is the swing skill for him that there isn't enough data or tape on. He is not dynamic of a shot blocker to project him to be perennial DPOY candidate, but due to his defensive mentality and brand along with his proven perimeter defense he will likely be in all-defense contention for many years. Him needed to be alongside a solidified rim protector decreases his value a bit, Kessler was a huge factor in Smith's defensive success this season. Smith relied on the Kessler safety blanket quite a bit, and it allowed him to press up on perimeter ball handlers as much as he liked. Smith will be elite in a switch scheme, and that paired with his motor and intensity have the making of a phenomenal playoff defender in the NBA. There types of defensive talents that are built for the playoffs are rare, and this is why Smith is such a high value prospect despite having clear athletic limitations. Smith will be a coveted defensive asset once he reaches the playoffs, the same way every single team in the NBA wants a Mikal Bridges on their roster come playoff time.
No combine measurements.
Frame is ok, needs improvement
Functional Athleticism: 72
Good lateral mobility
Solid lateral quickness
Ok open court speed