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Orlando Magic make Paolo Banchero the No. 1 pick in 2022 NBA Draft

Andrew Buller-Russ

For months NBA Draft analysts have debated who the Orlando Magic should take with the top selection in the 2022 NBA Draft. The wait is finally over, with Duke power forward Paolo Banchero chosen first overall on Thursday night.

Other players who were seemingly in play for the No. 1 pick were Auburn’s Jabari Smith Jr. and Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren, but the Magic are more intrigued with Banchero’s skill set. Here’s what the 19-year-old six-foot-10 talent can bring to Orlando.

Paolo Banchero brings polished offensive game

NCAA Basketball: Final Four-Semifinals-North Carolina vs Duke
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Orlando Magic are happy to make Paolo Banchero the No. 1 overall pick, thanks to a versatile, yet polished offensive game. Banchero can score at all three levels but will have to improve from range, after shooting 33.8% from distance during his year at Duke. Banchero grew up playing guard before growing into a much larger frame, allowing him to play forward. His guard skills are still on full display, with an advanced ball-handling ability who can also create plays for his teammates as a playmaker.

Banchero can fit in with the Magic nicely, forming a bright future with last season’s fifth overall selection in point guard Jalen Suggs. With Banchero likely to be an immediate starter, look for the Magic’s newest star to receive plenty of opportunities as a rookie.

Related: 2022 NBA Draft tracker: Grading each pick and trade