2022 NBA Draft mock #2: Orlando Magic: Paolo Banchero
The Orlando Magic are a young team that is trying to develop. 2021 top-five pick Jalen Suggs has struggled out of the gate, but Cole Anthony, Wendell Carter Jr., and Mo Bamba have shown flashes in the early going. Orlando is going to lose a lot this season and is likely to land another top five selection.
Duke’s Banchero is already the top selection on some draft boards. The 6’10 big man has an NBA-ready body and incredible passing and playmaking ability. He profiles as another hyper-skilled forward that can make defenses pay.
Banchero’s jumper is something to watch this season. He has started shooting more over the last year, and adding a consistent 3-point shot could make him an unstoppable offensive force.
NBA scouts are excited about his defense too. Banchero has the athletic ability to guard on the perimeter and the size to do it in the paint. He could be the rare switchable big man that can guard anyone on the floor.
Paolo Banchero has the talent and upside to be a franchise center, and the Magic need to take the best player available. Fans should be watching Banchero closely this season at Duke as he competes to be the top pick in this class.