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Rookie of the Year Odds: Magic's Banchero the Favorite?

Rookie of the Year?

ORLANDO - Despite not being the favorite to go first in the NBA Draft, Orlando Magic forward Paolo Banchero is the favorite to be the Rookie of the Year.

According to, Banchero is listed as the odds-on favorite to take home the most prestigious rookie honor with +300 odds.

Jabari Smith Jr., who went No. 3 to the Houston Rockets, is second in the running with +350 odds, while Oklahoma City Thunder center Chet Holmgren comes in third with +550 odds.

In 36 career games at Duke last season, Banchero averaged 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.1 steals. Banchero took home ACC Rookie of the Year and First-Team All-ACC honors following his lone campaign at Duke.

Banchero's one-and-done season at Duke showcased just how spectacular he could be as a prototype forward in the league.

For a team that ranked second worst in the NBA in scoring, Banchero would be given the green light with the Magic to create offense off the dribble.

Despite shooting a subpar 33.8 percent from three while at Duke, he still has the mechanics and ability to be an elite scorer from all three levels.

On top of his ability to put the ball in the basket, Banchero is also an underrated facilitator, whether that be in the open court after grabbing a defensive rebound, or in half-court offensive sets, he has the vision and basketball IQ to be a five assist caliber player.

The all-around offensive game that Banchero provides will be valuable to the Magic and could be the tools he needs to claim the Rookie of the Year award.