With THE FIRST PICK in the 2022 NBA Draft, the Orlando Magic selected Paolo Banchero from Duke University. The Orlando Magic selected the #1 pick over other potential selectees such as Chet Holmgreen and Jabari Smith Jr.
Get to know the #1 pick of this year’s NBA Draft
Banchero was physically the most NBA ready prospect for this year’s draft. Prior to the draft Banchero was named first team ALL-ACC and ACC Rookie of the Year. As a freshman he averaged 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game. Banchero not only led his team in scoring and rebounding but was also a key factor in Duke’s NCAA tournament run.
It is ironic that Banchero was the #1 pick of this year’s draft because in highschool he was the No 2. ranked player in the country in the 2021 class, behind No.1 Chet Holmgren, who was this year No 2. NBA draft pick.
During his time at O’Dea High School, Banchero averaged 22.6 points, 11 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.6 blocks per game. He was named the Washington Boys Basketball Gatorade Player of the Year and earned honors as a junior, in which he led the team to the Class 3A state championships as a sophomore.
As a player, Banchero is very versatile offensively. He is a three dimensional scorer, where he can operate on the perimeter, block, or mid range.
At 6 foot 10, 250lbs Paolo has shown to be too quick for the bigs yet physically defeated the guards. Although he has some strong attributes his weaknesses could affect his play while joining the league.
With his wingspan and length, he could be effective. He lacks the mobility to guard shifty guards on the perimeter. His intensity often dies down as he falls asleep on the ball.
However he’s 19, with him now being a professional player he has time to grow and become an elite player and that honestly wouldn’t take long because of the solid foundation of skill.
How will Paolo Banchero be effective to the Magic?
Offensively, the Magic themselves struggle and with the addition of Banchero they are striving to become an offensively dominating team. Orlando’s offensive itself might run through him. Banchero has been compared to players like Carmelo Anthonthy ( freshman season at Syracuse), Jayson Tatum, Chris Webber and even Blake Griffin.
The Magic can utilize Banchero in pick and rolls as well as a scorer and driver. The Magic can shape him into just the type of player they desire for the team. Banchero stated that he feels like his basketball IQ as well as his playmaking ability can add to the team. As well as stating he feels like he can fit in with the style of play the Orlando Magic already has established.
“I think that’s the one thing we’ve constantly talked about is the versatility and the ability to play both sides of the ball, guard multiple decisions but also be a great playmaker and decision maker,” coach Jamahl Mosley said after the draft.
“He is a giver and a distributor and that’s going to be a great addition to our team.” In the end Mosley and the Magic got exactly what they were looking for and that was Banchero.