Magic select Paolo Banchero with No. 1 pick in NBA draft

Melanie Fidler / National Basketball Association / Getty

With the No. 1 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, the Orlando Magic have selected Duke standout Paolo Banchero.

"When you're playing poker, you don't put your cards on the table, right?" Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman said regarding the surprise pick, according to team writer Dan Savage.

Banchero is the latest one-and-done prospect to come out of the Blue Devils' program. The 6-foot-10 forward was the lead option of an explosive Duke offense, averaging 17.2 points, 7.8 boards, and 3.2 assists over 39 appearances last season. Banchero finished fourth in the ACC in free-throw attempts (188) and 10th in blocks (36).

His strong regular season earned him ACC Rookie of the Year honors and an All-ACC first-team nod. Banchero elevated his game in the NCAA Tournament, helping Duke earn another Final Four berth. The former five-star recruit posted 18.8 points on 50% shooting, including a sizzling 52.6% mark on nearly four triples per game.

Bio

Position: Forward
School: Duke
College experience: Freshman
Height: 6-foot-10
Weight: 250 lbs
Wingspan: 7-foot-1
Max vertical: N/A

Strengths

  • Mix of quickness and strength creates mismatches for opposing big men
  • Has assortment of back-to-the-basket moves
  • Finishes well through contact
  • Efficient mid-range scorer
  • Uses crafty footwork to create his own shot
  • Great passer for his size
  • Solid ball-handling skills allow him to initiate fast breaks or pick-and-roll

Weaknesses

  • Drives recklessly to rim at times
  • Defensive effort and focus fluctuate too often
  • Needs to improve off-hand finishing
  • Coughs up the rock frequently, registered fifth-most turnovers in ACC last season
Comments
Magic select Paolo Banchero with No. 1 pick in NBA draft
  Got something to say? Leave a comment below!

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox