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Monday, June 27, 2022

Orlando Magic surprises with picking Paolo Banchero for first pick in NBA draft

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Paolo Banchero walked to the Nets’ pavilion in Brooklyn, New York yesterday ready to draw attention. And boy, did he succeed. Not only did he stand out because of his purple suit covered in shiny tags and a huge silver tag with a P5 (for Paolo and for the number 5 he plays with), but also because he was drafted number one in the NBA by the Orlando magic.

The surprise was relative. Although the Italian-American was expected to take the lead, the favorites for that first-place finish were Jabari Smith and Chet Holmgrem, North American varsity basketball’s two standout players of the final year. Finally, the Oklahoma City Thunder picked Holmgrem in second place and the Houston Rockets picked Smith in third place.

The NBA draft is a spectacle that is watched closely in every city with a pro league team. This Thursday, for example, Washington’s Capital One Arena was quite the party, with player selections broadcast live and celebrations continuing on the track and in the stands, even though the Wizards were the tenth pick. It’s the entire season of signing new players, concentrated into four hours of prime time. The system prioritizes the weakest teams when selecting to try to even out the competition over time, although it does have some randomness. Orlando won the draw.

Paolo Napoleón James Banchero is a 19-year-old, 6’2″ power forward who was born in Seattle to an Italian father and American mother and for whom he occasionally works with the Italy team. His mother, Ronda Smith-Banchero was a WNBA professional basketball player; His father and uncle played soccer in college, and Paolo played both sports as a child. In his new franchise, the Orlando Magic, he must assume the figure of the leader in a young block struggling with disappointing seasons. This earned them last year’s selections of Jalen Suggs and Franz Wagner, who failed to prevail in Florida’s favour.

In eighth grade, at age 14, he was voted one of the top 50 players of his age in both sports. He was notable for his height, almost two meters at the age of 13. In high school, he chose basketball and began winning all sorts of awards. Then he settled on Duke (in North Carolina), a collegiate basketball classic that featured the likes of Kyrie Irving, Seth Curry, Jayson Tatum and Zion Williamson, the last – and so far disappointing – number one league blue devils until yesterday, this is the fifth in the history of this university.

“I feel like this is a fantasy. I dreamed of being in the NBA, but being number one… that’s crazy,” he explained after his election, unable to hold back his tears. Banchero managed to place Duke in the semifinals of the varsity tournament and was named Rookie of the Year in his conference. He decided to fast track to the NBA after just a year in college.

Holmgrem and Smith

Chet Holmgrem, voted number two by the Thunder, is a lean center at seven feet tall and has a large percentage of shot success. Very thin, his build is a bit reminiscent of Gasol before he arrived in the NBA. As with Pau, the trainers will make every effort to get him to build muscle and weight. At Gonzaga University, his height allowed him to average 14 points, 9.9 rebounds and 3.7 blocks per game. However, he was unable to prevent his team from being eliminated in the round of 16 of the US varsity tournament after finishing as the best team in the regular season with 28 wins and four losses. He joins a team that is in the process of rebuilding and full of youngsters like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander or Josh Giddey, which will favor his growth as a player.

Jabari Smith arrived at Barclays Center as a big favorite for the first position of the draft. However, the 6-foot-11 power forward from Auburn University fell back to third pick by the Rockets after a season that saw Stephen’s outside play in a year when tall men monopolized the top spots in the draft curry crowned. in an NBA Finals with more triples than ever. With a slightly more conventional dress in a gala that looked like a parade of models over two meters tall, Smith couldn’t hide his disappointment when he heard the names Banchero and Holmgrem.

The Sacramento Kings picked University of Iowa’s Keegan Murray fourth, and the Detroit Pistons picked Jaden Ivey fifth. Basketball is a team game. College champion Kansas had no player in the top five.

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Source elpais.com

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