NEW YORK ( Associated Press) — For weeks, the NBA draft has been questioning whether the first pick will go to Paolo Banchero, Chet Holmgren or Jabari Smith Jr.
The answer finally came on Thursday. And Banchero didn’t even know about it until moments before the announcement.
“From the information I was given, it seemed to me that everything was up in the air,” Banchero said. “In Orlando they weren’t sure yet, so I had to prepare myself for anything.
“I didn’t know I was going to be elected until about 20 seconds before the commissioner came on stage. I didn’t even have time to think about it. It just happened. I can’t believe it, but I’m ready.” “
The Orlando Magic drafted the new player from Duke with the first pick in the NBA draft.
After coach Mike Krzyzewski took the Blue Devils to the Final Four in his final season, the 6-foot-6 forward was first mentioned by NBA commissioner Adam Silver as first-year forward Jabari Smith. Junior and Chet were besting Holmgren.
Banchero, who wore a bright purple suit, received a standing ovation inside the Barclays Center, where Duke lost in the final of the ACC tournament.
Magic picked up the first for the fourth time and has done well over the years. He drafted Shaquille O’Neill in 1992, traded the rights to Chris Webber to Penny Hardaway the following year, and selected Dwight Howard in 2004.
They all eventually reached the NBA Finals with the Magic.
Holmgren was the No. 2 pick, tied for the Oklahoma City Thunder after leading the West Coast Conference in blocks, rebounds and shooting percentages with Gonzaga after 7-foot-11.
He looked drab in his black suit, but he might need a bigger suit if he wants to make it to the NBA. Official figures state that he weighs 88 kg, which is still too low to stand out as a professional.
The Houston Rockets took Smith in third place, pleased that many thought the player would go first. The 6-foot-8 forward from Auburn fits perfectly into the current NBA game, can defend all internal positions and has shooting abilities that allow him to shoot 42% of his 3-pointers .
Forward Keegan Murray, who made a big improvement in his second year at Iowa, moved up to fourth with the Sacramento Kings. A year after teaming Cade Cunningham with No. 1, the Detroit Pistons picked athletic Purdue guard Jaden Ivey with the fifth pick.
Before the draft began, Silver congratulated the Golden State Warriors on their recent NBA championship and reminded fans that Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Drummond Greene were formed in the draft.
Teams first in the draft need help and already have top picks in their lineup. We will have to wait to see if the Warriors formula works for them.
Canadian Benedict Mathurin, who plays for Arizona, came to Indiana with the sixth pick. The Portland Trail Blazers followed with Kentucky’s Shaden Sharp.
Eighth place was taken by G-League’s Dyson Daniels, New Orleans. Immediately, San Antonio grabs Jeremy Sochan by the boiler.
The 10th pick went to Washington, which chose Johnny Davis of Wisconsin.