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Banchero Offers Perplexing Fit for Thunder at No. 2

Duke's Paolo Banchero would be an intriguing fit with Oklahoma City.

The Oklahoma City Thunder hold the second overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, and barring several wild scenarios, they’ll leave it with one of Jabari Smith Jr., Chet Holmgren or Paolo Banchero.

While the odds are on Holmgren or Smith Jr., Banchero offers perplexing scenarios for the Thunder at No. 2.

The Duke big man, who stands at 6-foot-10 with a 250-pound frame, is one of the most physically imposing and likely NBA-ready players in the country.

He averaged 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists in his time with the Blue Devils. He shot nearly 48 percent from the field and a respectable 34 percent from three for his size.

Paolo Banchero, 2022 NBA Draft

Banchero is a do-it-all forward with guard like skills who needs the ball in his hands.

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While likely one of the top options available at No. 2 for OKC, his fit next to both Josh Giddey and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is an intriguing one.

Banchero needs the ball in his hands much more than both Holmgren and Smith, and undoubtedly is less good of a fit on the current configuration of the Thunder.

Should he be chosen, it’s likely they won’t stick with it.

General manager Sam Presti could certainly value other players more. But if he does opt to take who he thinks is the best available regardless of fit, and it happens to be Banchero, OKC has some interesting decisions to make ahead.

The NBA Draft takes place on Thursday, June 23.


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