ORLANDO – Moments after the Orlando Magic have been awarded the No. 1 general decide within the 2022 NBA Draft on the lottery in Chicago, agent Mike Miller approached Magic Head Coach Jamahl Mosley to congratulate him and provide a easy message: “I’ve the primary man for you.”
After prolonged analysis, tons of movie examine, numerous interviews, and quite a few exercises, Orlando got here to the conclusion that Miller, who coincidentally gained the 2001 NBA Rookie of the 12 months honor with the franchise, was proper.
And with the No. 1 general choice within the 2022 NBA Draft, the Magic chosen dynamic Duke ahead Paolo Banchero on Thursday night time.
“I am unable to imagine what simply occurred,” Banchero stated moments after being chosen. “I by no means would have thought that this may occur. I wished to be within the NBA, however I did not know I’d be right here. I actually actually, did not. That is unbelievable. I am unable to communicate proper now.”
There is no questioning the offensive capability of the 6-foot-10, 250-pound ahead, the aforementioned consumer of Miller’s. His mix of coordination, craftiness, finesse, fluidity, energy, and imaginative and prescient make him an absolute drive on the offensive finish of the ground. For a franchise that is been looking for a primary offensive choice for fairly a while, they could have discovered their reply at No. 1.
Banchero turns into the fourth first general decide in franchise historical past. Their back-to-back pulls of the premier ping-pong ball in the course of the group’s infancy enabled them to pick future Corridor-of-Famer Shaquille O’Neal first general in 1992 after which engineer a draft-night commerce sending Chris Webber to Golden State for Penny Hardaway and three future first spherical picks in 1993. These strikes immediately morphed the Magic right into a 50-win membership and helped propel them to their first Finals look in 1995.
In 2004, woman luck was as soon as once more on the facet of Orlando because it landed the highest decide and first drafted Dwight. The perennial All-Star middle went on to win three straight NBA Defensive Participant of the 12 months awards for the Magic and vaulted them to 2 straight Jap Convention Finals appearances, together with a 2009 journey to the NBA Finals.
The group has positioned its religion in Banchero to assist them get there as soon as once more.
“He is a freak,” stated Duke assistant coach Amile Jefferson, who performed for the Magic from 2018-20, on the Principally Magic podcast. “His capability to deal with the ball, deal with, move, his really feel at that dimension; it simply would not occur. I speaking to any person some time in the past and I am like while you play (NBA) 2K, you max out (your participant’s) peak, max out on how large they’re, and then you definately give them a jumpshot, handles, really feel, and move. And he is like that, virtually like that created kind of participant. He has all of the instruments and the scale, and you are like, you do not see this. A freak, even for the brand new age.”
In contrast to many former first general alternatives, Banchero is becoming a member of a core that is actually not devoid of expertise. The group presently options a variety of lottery alternatives, together with Markelle Fultz (first general – 2017), Jalen Suggs (fifth general – 2021), Jonathan Isaac (sixth general – 2017), Mo Bamba (sixth general – 2018), Wendell Carter Jr . (seventh general – 2018), and Franz Wagner (eighth general – 2021) to go together with different promising younger items similar to Cole Anthony, RJ Hampton, and Chuma Okeke.