The top three picks in the 2022 NBA Draft appear to be set

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By , Audacy Sports

ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski dropped a spoiler ahead of Thursday night's draft, when he reported that the first three picks were "increasingly firm."

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According to Woj, the Magic, Thunder and Rockets seem to have their minds made about who they will be selecting once they're on the clock.

Orlando was set to take Auburn's Jabari Smith, the reporter said in a tweet, while Oklahoma City had its sights set on Gonzaga's Chet Holmgren. Houston, meanwhile, was on Duke forward Paolo Banchero.

The reported sequence of picks would come as relatively little surprise. Most mocks, including one by Audacy's Jasper Jones, have been projecting Smith, Holmgren and Banchero as the top three prospects off the board.

After some last-minute jockeying and speculation, it seems Smith separated himself from the pack in the view of the Magic, who appear poised to make him their fourth No. 1 overall pick in franchise history, joining an impressive list of Shaquille O'Neal, Chris Webber (later traded for Penny Hardaway), and Dwight Howard. According to Jonathan Givony of ESPN.com, rival teams would be shocked if the Magic opted for anyone other than Smith.

The consensus among draft hounds and scout types seems to indicate that Smith and Banchero are relatively safe bets to pan out as meaningful contributors in the NBA. Banchero, at 6'10" and 250 pounds, boasts prototypical size for a front-court player at the professional level.

Holmgren, meanwhile, seems to be a bit more polarizing as a prospect. At 7'0" and 190 pounds, he is on the lean side, though he is a fairly polished shooter and has a reputation as a solid defender and rim protector despite his narrow frame. The 20-year-old averaged a whopping 4.9 blocks per game last season for the Bulldogs.

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