Skip to main content

Compared to the last few years, the 2022 NBA Draft has a chance to be extremely intriguing simply because there is no clear-cut, obvious choice for the No. 1 overall selection.

The 2022 NBA Draft Lottery took place on May 17 and the Orlando Magic won the top pick in this year’s draft, but their decision on who to select could come down to the final few days or hours leading up to the draft in June, as Chet Holmgren (Gonzaga), Jabari Smith Jr. (Auburn), Jaden Ivey (Purdue) and Paolo Banchero (Duke) are all top-tier prospects!

However, Banchero seems to think that there is not much discussion as to who should go first overall, as the former Duke Blue Devil believes he is the best prospect in this draft class.

“I feel like I’m the No. 1 pick in the draft just because I’m the best overall player,” Banchero said when talking with ESPN’s NBA Countdown crew at the NBA Draft Lottery. “I feel like I check all the boxes. Whether that is being a great teammate, being able to be a star player, or doing whatever the coach needs. I’ve been aware my whole life. When I get to the NBA, that is going to be the same goal for me. Just combining all those things and knowing what I have to work on to be better is the formula for me.”

One of the more well-polished all-around players in this year’s draft, Paolo Banchero has the size and athleticism to make a difference in the NBA from Day 1.

At Duke, he averaged 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.1 steals, and 0.9 blocks and he helped take the Blue Devils to the Final Four. Being able to fit the mold of playing multiple different positions, Banchero definitely has an edge in some categories over others being discussed for the No. 1 overall selection which will be made by Orlando.

“There are a lot of guys. Obviously, there is a couple that I really try to take things away from,” Banchero said when asked about who he models his game after. “LeBron [James], Jayson Tatum, Giannis [Antetokounmpo], Carmelo [Anthony]. Guys who got similar physical build. But I also feel like I am unique in my own ways. I take parts from all of their games and try to put them into mine. I couldn’t give you one player but I am definitely inspired by some of those guys.”

Being a near 7-foot forward that can handle the ball and get to his spots on the floor, it is very easy to spot some similarities in Banchero’s game to that of some of the league’s best stars like he mentioned.

While he is not expected to participate in any drills or scrimmages at the NBA Draft Combine, Paolo Banchero will be one of the first prospects selected in the 2022 NBA Draft, which is set to take place on Thursday, June 23. 

  • Full 2022 NBA Draft Order: First and Second Rounds: Here is the full order of the 2022 NBA Draft set to take place on June 23. CLICK HERE.
  • NBA Draft Combine: Scrimmage Schedule and Rosters: The NBA world convenes in Chicago this week for the annual draft combine. Select players will participate in the scrimmages later this week. Here's who is scheduled to play. CLICK HERE.