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Orlando Magic Preseason Profile: Paolo Banchero Outlook, Expectations

The Orlando Magic hope that No. 1 overall pick Paolo Banchero becomes one of the best players in the NBA at some point. To start things off, though, he can focus on being the best rookie this season.

The Orlando Magic begin training camp next week with the 2022-23 NBA season less than a month away from tipping off.

It would be an understatement to say Orlando has high expectations for No. 1 overall pick Paolo Banchero. Although Banchero appears to be capable of living up to those lofty expectations, he must prove to be the best rookie in his class before making a potential run at being one of the best players in the league.

Let’s take a brief look back at what Banchero was able to accomplish in college last season, as well as what to look forward to in his first NBA season.

2021-22 Season Review

Banchero appeared in 39 games for Duke last year as the team made a run to the Final Four before falling to North Carolina in coach Mike Krzyzewski‘s final season. Banchero dazzled as a freshman, averaging 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.1 steals per game.

Banchero’s collegiate career high came against The Citadel on Nov. 22 when he posted 28 points on 52.6 percent shooting from the field and 40 percent from 3-point range. He also grabbed eight rebounds and dished out six assists.

Due to having such a successful year, Banchero was the recipient of many collegiate honors, including Consensus All-American, NCAA All-Tournament, ACC Rookie of the Year, All-ACC and more.

2022-23 Season Preview

Going up against top-level NBA talent on a nightly basis is going to be slightly different than playing against other college players or Summer League rosters. Banchero has the physical build at 6-10, 250 to withstand the wear and tear that an NBA season brings, it just might take some time to get used to.

We fully expect Banchero to average big numbers as a rookie this season as the Magic try to get in on the postseason action it’s missed over the last two years. Banchero has “future superstar” written all over him, but it all starts with being the best rookie in his class.

Look for Banchero to run away with the NBA Rookie of the Year award.

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