Saturday, April 1 2023

Paolo Banchero was the first overall pick in the NBA Draft for a reason. The Duke prospect showed great potential in college and is already showing the NBA that he is going to be one of the next superstars in the league. Banchero is following in the footsteps of Shaquille O’Neal and Dwight Howard in terms of great first overall picks who have given the Magic great success. How good has the rookie been this year? Banchero is not just in the mix for Rookie of the Year, he is also in the conversation to be a first-time All-Star.

Paolo Banchero Already Making a Difference For The Orlando Magic 

Paolo Banchero’s Season So Far

As alluded to already, Banchero is starting his rookie campaign with All-Star like numbers. So far, he is averaging 23.5 points, 8.3 total rebounds, 3.6 assists per game, and a field goal percentage of 46.1 percent. Not to mention, Banchero also possesses impressive advanced analytics. He is currently averaging a player efficiency rating of 19.2 to go along with an assist percentage of 17.4 percent.

Paolo Banchero has also shown flashes of greatness on the defensive end in his rookie campaign. So far this year, he has yet to allow a player to score more than 10 points when defended by him. Why is this impressive you may ask? Some of the notable stars he has matched up with and held under this threshold include the likes of Stephen Curry, Jayson Tatum, Luka Doncic, and Donovan Mitchell. His steals and blocks averages may not be anything to write home about, but Paolo Banchero has the ability to be an elite defender in this league.

Paolo is already embracing the leadership role for the Orlando Magic. While the team is still a lottery team, they have already gotten a couple of impressive wins this season. They defeated the Dallas Mavericks tonight and also boast wins over the Charlotte Hornets and the defending champion, Golden State Warriors. While Orlando also has other young talent coming into their own, Paolo Banchero is already solidifying himself as the clear franchise cornerstone of the future.

His Strengths, Weaknesses, and Potential

Paolo Banchero has the potential to be a NBA superstar one day. Thus, why he was selected number one overall. In terms of his strengths, Banchero is 6’9 giving him one of the better wingspans in the league. As a result, this also gives him great length and makes it that much harder for defenders to block his potent jump-shot. He already looks mature enough to play at NBA speed and is always calm and composed, a rare trait for rookies.

The former Duke sensation is not without fault. Some things he must work on include being a more consistent defender and he must develop a three-point shot. Especially, if Banchero wants to thrive in today’s NBA. While the season is still young and Paolo is a rookie, he is only striking it at a rate of 25.6 percent from beyond the arc. This could come with time, but it is something to watch closely. Despite these shortcomings, Paolo Banchero is already looking like the next Orlando Magic superstar.

Source: Basketball Insider


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