Paolo Banchero knew Thursday was going to be a special day because it would be the start of his NBA career — but he didn’t know about the Orlando Magic’s brewing plans until he was called out by Adam Silver when he was pleasantly surprised by the news.
Banchero was selected by the Magic with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NBA draft.
Further reading:2022 NBA Draft Roster Full Record(Motion Vision Editing)
“It was like a dream,” Banchero said. “It feels so dreamy. I used to think about what I would look like in the NBA, but I never thought about being drafted No. 1. It’s crazy.”
Banchero, who is 6-foot-10 and weighs 250 pounds, is from Duke University. He was a basketball and American football player in high school. He started as a guard when he was young, and didn’t focus on the inside from the beginning.
His mother, Rhonda Smith-Banchero, is also a basketball player and played in the WNBA, and I believe she can give him a lot of career advice.
Further reading:Paolo Banchero – Duke’s scoring machine, the safest No. 1 pick in the draft(Lu egg snake)
Banchero was expressionless in his seat a few minutes before his name was called. Neither the gossip about “possibly being selected as the champion” nor the close-up of the camera moved him in the slightest. It wasn’t until he heard Silver’s familiar voice that his expression finally changed.
He raised his head and smiled, tears of joy in the corners of his eyes.
“I used to tell everyone that I’m not going to cry whether I’m drafted or not,” Banchero recalled a pre-draft promise he apparently didn’t deliver. “That moment really touched me and I couldn’t resist.”
Last season, Banchero averaged 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game at Duke. The Magic currently have Wendell Carter Jr., Mo Bamba, etc. in the restricted area, and may adjust the lineup depending on the situation to welcome Banchero’s arrival.
After that, Chet Holmgren, Jabari Smith Jr., Keegan Murray, and Jaden Ivey were selected one after another, and the fierce competition for the top five came to an end.
Further reading:A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step – is the 2022 NBA draft a young year or a high-quality deputy year?(Siege GCity)
In fact, there are no unexpected dark horses in this year’s top three picks. Most experts believe that there will be a choice between Banchero, Holmgren and JSJ. There is only a difference between being selected “early” or “later”.
Among them, Chet Holmgren is the least surprising one. He has the physical conditions required by the Thunder in recent years, and he was successfully selected in the end.
Further reading:More special than expected – full version of the opposite of Chet Holmgren(Motion Vision Editing)
When Holmgren heard Banchero being called, he just nodded and kept a basic smile. When he was called, he finally breathed a sigh of relief. He couldn’t hide the joy in his heart and started shaking hands and hugging with his family. .
“I have about 1,000 emotions that I can describe at the moment, which is really surreal, but it’s what I expected,” Holmgren said in an interview.
The 20-year-old Holmgren was born in Minneapolis and was selected as Minnesota’s Mr. Basketball in 2021. He is a well-known local student-athlete.
If you remember, a few years ago, a seven-foot high schooler dipped past Stephen Curry, had a blast at training camp, and YouTube was circulating his beautiful double-back dribble—yes, that’s Chet Holmgren.
Further reading:Can you survive in the NBA by eating Curry? On Chet Holmgren(A Zhun, 2019)
Assuming Holmgren doesn’t get drafted by the Thunder, but instead gets drafted by the Magic with the No. 1 overall pick, he’ll have a chance to reconnect with high school teammate Jalen Suggs. Both played one season each for Gonzaga before entering the draft.
Holmgren led Gonzaga to a record of 28 wins and 4 losses, averaging 14.1 points, 9.9 rebounds, 3.7 blocks, and a shooting percentage of 60.7%. Unfortunately, the team stopped in the top 16 and failed to go further in the NCAA.
Further reading:Software is more important than hardware – Chet Holmgren, who continues to be undervalued(The Matterhorn)
The so-called “several families are happy and some families are sad”, Jabari Smith Jr., who has a high voice for the top pick, was not called until the third overall pick, and he couldn’t hide the disappointment in his expression. Tari Eason, who was on the same ladder, also cheered him on, standing up to applaud when he was selected.
Interestingly, Eason was drafted 17th overall by the Rockets and became JSJ’s future teammate. The unintentional heart-warming move touched many people, and the two should be expected to forge a deeper friendship.
“I knew it was one of those possibilities, but I was surprised when it happened,” JSJ said, revealing that he wasn’t selected as the top pick.