Banchero landed a prestigious spot in this year’s draft.
The 2022 NBA Draft is underway, and teams are snapping up the best players from programs and universities around the country. For the Orlando Magic, many were speculating that their long-awaited number one pick would be Auburn forward Jabari Smith Jr. However, in a surprise move, Smith Jr. went to the Houston Rockets, while the Magic grabbed someone else: Duke’s Paolo Banchero.
“I had a feeling, from the information I was being told, that it was just kind of up in the air,” Banchero told ESPN of being the Magic’s number one. “Orlando wasn’t really sure yet, and just to be ready for whatever.
“I didn’t find out, though, that I was actually getting picked until about 20 seconds before the commissioner got on the stage. I didn’t even have time to really think about it or anything. It just kind of happened. I can’t believe it, but I’m ready. I’m ready.”
THE FUTURE HAS ARRIVED‼️
PAOLO BANCHERO IS THE NO. 1 PICK IN THE 2022 NBA DRAFT. pic.twitter.com/5WhS4DI7F2
— ESPN (@espn) June 24, 2022
At 6-foot-10 with 17.2 point average during his time at Duke, Banchero is a lean, mean basketball machine, and one of the most promising players of the 2022 draft. He’ll certainly have to be, because he’s going to be the linchpin of the Magic’s rebuilt lineup, which includes guards Jalen Suggs and Cole Anthony, forwards Franz Wagner and Jonathan Isaac and center Wendell Carter Jr.