Paolo Banchero has missed six straight games for the Orlando Magic (5-12). And the 2021-22 Duke basketball sensation, who went No. 1 overall at the 2022 NBA Draft and has more than lived up to the hype, will likely miss a handful more outings as he recovers from a sprained left ankle.
He sustained the injury on Nov. 7 during the Magic's 134-127 home loss to the Houston Rockets.
On Thursday, the Orlando Sentinel's Khobi Price tweeted that Banchero expects to be out of commission for at least another week to a week and a half. Orlando plays five games in the next 11 days, beginning with a road bout against the Indiana Pacers at 7 p.m. ET Monday.
Injuries are always unfortunate. But it's safe to say Banchero has already proven himself as an NBA star in only 11 career outings. Still, if not for the setback, there's no telling the production level he would be enjoying; after all, his most recent game, despite the injury, marked his second straight with 30 points or more.
The 6-foot-10, 250-pound power forward from Seattle has put up numbers almost unheard of for a guy who is probably five years or more from reaching his prime. He's started every game when healthy and is averaging 23.5 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 3.6 assists while shooting 46.1 percent from the field.
Furthermore, it's worth noting Paolo Banchero has never scored fewer than 15 points in an NBA game.
Orlando's other Duke basketball product, starting center Wendell Carter Jr., has missed two of the Magic's past three games while dealing with a right plantar fascia strain.
Stay tuned to Blue Devil Country for daily Duke basketball content.