ORLANDO – The Orlando Magic were exhilarated on draft night to be able to select Paolo Banchero with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.
They believe that the 6-foot-10, 255-pound forward possesses a unique blend of coordination, craftiness, finesse, fluidity, power, and vision that make him a force on the offensive end, while also having the tools to be a versatile and effective defender. Now, it’s even more evident that the Magic are not alone in their assessment.
The 2022-23 NBA GM survey was released on Tuesday with Banchero receiving rave reviews. The Duke alum was voted the overwhelming favorite to be named the Rookie of the Year, earning 79 percent of the vote – the fourth highest rate in the history of the survey.
“I want to be a great teammate,” said Banchero of his goals for this season. “I want, definitely as a team, to be in contention, whether that’s a playoff spot (or) play-in, (I want to) be in the mix and compete every game. I also want to be Rookie of the Year, so that’s just a personal goal that I’ve set for myself.”
Along with a strong short-term outlook, GMs also believe that long-term Banchero will be among the NBA’s best. The dynamic forward was the top vote getter for which rookie will be the best player in five years, receiving 31 percent of the votes.
In addition to believing in his talent, it’s clear that executives also have faith in his ability to handle the pressure that comes along with being the first overall pick.
“The great part about what he went through in college it was coach (Mike Krzyzewski’s) farewell tour for every arena he walked into,” said Magic Head Coach Jamahl Mosley recently. “There was always a level of pressure. … He understands what it is, and he understands those big moments. … He embraces his teammates, he wants to make the right plays, and he knows he’s playing for something bigger than him.”
Along with the excitement surrounding Banchero, league executives were also high on the future of the Magic as they were one of six teams to receive votes for the franchise with the most promising young core.
“There’s a great sense of energy and anticipation throughout all of our team starting with the players and emanating out through all of us,” said Magic President of Basketball Operations Jeff Weltman on media day. “We’re excited to start the season.”
Coming off a season where he was named to the NBA’s All-Rookie First Team, Franz Wagner was among 13 players to record votes for player most likely to have a breakout 2022-23 campaign. That’s likely in part due to his stellar performance in EuroBasket where he looked like a player primed to take a leap.
“What he’s brought back is that leadership, that voice of teaching and helping guys understand exactly some of the things we’re asking them to do,” said Mosley of the second-year forward. “We talk about his basketball IQ and the things he was able to take away from (his EuroBasket experience), he’s able to bring that right back. Different scenarios, different situations for these guys to see. He’s bringing that to the table almost every day.”
This news is republished from another source. You can check the original article here