NEW YORK ( Associated Press) — The Orlando Magic selected Duke freshman Paolo Banchero Thursday night with the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft.
After the Blue Devils made it to the Final Four in coach Mike Krzyzewski’s final season, the 6’10 forward was called up by NBA First Commissioner Adam Silver to start the draft, beating first-year forwards Jabari Smith Jr. and Chet Holmgren. . .
Banchero, dressed in a purple suit full of luxury, received a big round of applause at the Barclays Center, where Duke lost in the ACC tournament final.
The Magic were picked first for the fourth time, and they did well with their previous pick. They took on Shaquille O’Neal in 1992, traded the rights to Chris Webber for Penny Hardaway the following year, and left in 2004 with Dwight Howard.
All eventually made it to the NBA Finals with the Magic.
Holmgren finished second to the Oklahoma City Thunder after the 7-footer led the West Coast Conference in block shots, rebounds and Gonzaga slugging percentage. He looked stylish in his black suit, but he may need a larger size for NBA success as he only weighs 195 pounds.
The Houston Rockets took Smith third, happy that he ended up with a player that many thought would eventually come out first. The 6-10 Auburn forward is a perfect fit for the current NBA game, capable of defending all three positions in the frontcourt and with a shot that allowed him to hit 42% from behind the arc.
More Associated Press NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Copyright 2022 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed without permission.