NBA Draft: Paolo Banchero Goes No. 1 to Orlando Magic

The Orlando Magic picked Paolo Banchero, a forward from Duke College, with the No. 1 overall select in the N.B.A. draft.

Banchero is a 6-foot-10, 250-pound electric power ahead, whose mother, Rhonda Smith-Banchero, played in the W.N.B.A. He was a guard before in his basketball profession, and played both of those football and basketball at O’Dea Substantial Faculty in Seattle.

In the minutes in advance of his identify was identified as, Banchero sat at a desk on the floor of Barclays Heart in Brooklyn displaying no emotion on his encounter. The Magic ended up on the clock and word began to distribute that Banchero may well be their pick. Cameras crowded close to him, but he didn’t outwardly respond. Only when N.B.A. Commissioner Adam Silver announced his title did his expression improve.

He decreased his head, seemed up and smiled.

In his just one year at Duke, Banchero averaged 17.2 factors, 7.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists for each sport and was named the Atlantic Coastline Conference’s rookie of the yr.

A few prospective buyers ended up thought to have separated them selves at the top rated of this year’s draft: Banchero, Chet Holmgren of Gonzaga and Jabari Smith Jr. of Auburn.

The Magic gained this year’s draft lottery after ending the year at 22-60, the worst document in the Eastern Meeting and the second-worst document in the league. Only the Houston Rockets, who had the 3rd decide in this year’s draft after a 20-62 season, gained fewer video games than the Magic.

This 12 months marked the fourth time in the franchise’s historical past that it manufactured the initially general choose. The Magic drafted Shaquille O’Neal with the to start with decide on in 1992 Chris Webber, whom they instantly traded for Penny Hardaway, in 1993 and Dwight Howard in 2004.

The pairing of Hardaway and O’Neal yielded a single N.B.A. finals appearance, but no championships for the Magic. Howard also led the Magic to 1 finals visual appearance, in 2009.

Later on in their careers, O’Neal and Howard gained championships while playing for the Los Angeles Lakers — O’Neal in 2000, 2001 and 2002, and Howard in 2020.

Just before Banchero, the past Duke participant selected No. 1 over-all in the N.B.A. draft was Zion Williamson in 2019. Banchero follows two guards — Anthony Edwards (2020) and Cade Cunningham (2021) — in earning the difference of staying the top rated decide.

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