Magic select Paolo Banchero with No. 1 pick in NBA draft
It didn’t take long for the first shocking moment of the 2022 NBA Draft to happen.
With the No. 1 overall pick, the Orlando Magic surprised everyone by selecting Duke freshman Paolo Banchero.
Heading into the draft, Banchero was viewed as the consensus No. 3 prospect in this year’s draft, behind Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren and Auburn’s Jabari Smith. Nevertheless, Banchero is the fourth Blue Devil since 1966 to be chosen No. 1, including Elton Brand, Kyrie Irving and Zion Williamson.
At 6-foot-10, 250 pounds, Banchero already has an NBA body. He’s well-rounded on offense and has a knack for creating his own shot.
Banchero was the 2021-22 ACC Rookie of the Year, making the ACC All-Freshman team and All-ACC First Team. A Wooden Award winner, Banchero was also named to the All-ACC tournament First Team, the NCAA All-Tournament and All-Region teams.
He finished with the most points (671) in the ACC and second in total rebounds (304).
In his freshman season, Banchero averaged 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.1 steals in 39 games.
During Duke’s run to the NCAA title game, Banchero played in five contests, averaging 18.8 points, 7.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.2 blocks and 1.0 steals, in 37 minutes per game.