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Duke’s Banchero taken No. 1 general by Magic

Duke’s Banchero taken No. 1 general by Magic

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Magic choose Paolo Banchero No. 1 (2:24)

The Orlando Magic choose Duke Ahead Paolo Banchero with the primary decide within the 2022 NBA Draft. (2:24)

8:11 PM ET

  • Tim BontempsESPN

NEW YORK — After months of hypothesis, Duke’s Paolo Banchero was a shock choice by the Orlando Magic with the highest general decide within the 2022 NBA draft on Thursday evening.

Gonzaga middle Chet Holmgren was taken second by the Oklahoma City Thunder, and Auburn ahead Jabari Smith Jr. went No. 3 general to the Houston Rockets.

Within the weeks main as much as the draft, Smith had been broadly anticipated to land the highest choice. However the Magic turned issues the other way up by taking Banchero, who sported a brilliant purple swimsuit with sequins, together with even brighter sneakers, as he took to the stage and shook fingers with NBA commissioner Adam Silver.

The 6-foot-10 ahead from Duke averaged 17.2 factors, 7.8 rebounds and three.2 assists per sport throughout 39 video games for the Blue Devils, who reached the Remaining 4 earlier than dropping to their endlessly rivals in North Carolina. Banchero, who could be probably the most NBA-ready prospect on this draft, will now be appeared to because the anchor of Orlando’s nascent rebuild, which incorporates guards Jalen Suggs and Cole Anthony, forwards Franz Wagner and Jonathan Isaac and middle Wendell Carter Jr.

Whereas Banchero was a shock at No. 1, Holmgren was at all times anticipated to go to Oklahoma Metropolis with the second decide. A 7-footer from Gonzaga, Holmgren flashed a wide selection of expertise in his lone season in faculty, averaging 14.1 factors on 60 % capturing general and 39 % from 3-point vary whereas grabbing 9.9 rebounds and blocking 3.7 pictures in 26.9 minutes throughout 32 video games.

Oklahoma Metropolis, which entered the evening with a second lottery choice (twelfth general) and with a number of firsts in every of the subsequent a number of drafts, now has an inside anchor to go along with its promising younger backcourt of rising star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Australian Josh Giddey, the sixth general decide in final 12 months’s draft and a primary staff All-Rookie choice.

Smith, a sweet-shooting 6-foot-10 ahead, averaged 16.9 factors and seven.4 rebounds whereas capturing 42 % from behind the 3-point arc.

After drafting Jalen Green, Alperen Sengun, Josh Christopher and Usman Garuba within the first spherical of final 12 months’s draft, the Rockets — who additionally entered the night with the seventeenth choice — continued their rebuild within the wake of shifting on from franchise icon James Harden in the beginning of the 2021-22 season by choosing Smith.

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