The Orlando Magic Select Paolo Banchero With First Overall Pick In NBA Draft

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports via Reuters

Seth Roy Contributor
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The Orlando Magic selected forward Paolo Banchero with the first overall pick in the 2022 NBA draft Thursday, ESPN reported.

The Magic are coming off a horrible season, one where they finished 22-60 and in last place in the Eastern Conference standings, according to ESPN. Drafting Banchero at number one presumably puts the weight of the franchise’s misfortunes on the shoulders of the newly-acquired 19-year-old ball star in hopes that he can help return the team back to relevancy.

The last time the Orlando Magic won a playoff series was over 12 years ago, when they had defeated the Atlanta Hawks in round two of the 2010 post-season. They have been pretty bad since that time but, with the addition of Paolo Banchero, Orlando is getting a player who can score and rebound the basketball very well. He has the capabilities to come in and contribute right away for the struggling Magic squad.

In his lone season at Duke, Banchero averaged 17.2 points, 3.2 assists and 7.8 rebounds per game for the Blue Devils, according to ESPN statistics (RELATED: Tennessee Baseball Player Evan Russell Suggests He Might Sue ESPN Over False PED Test Claim)

If history repeats itself, getting drafted number one overall to the Magic could propel Banchero to elite status as an NBA player. When Orlando had the first overall pick in the NBA draft in 1992, they drafted Hall of Famer and four-time champion Shaquille O’Neal, according to The Associated Press. In 2004, the team used the number one pick to tap Dwight Howard, who has gone on to become a multiple time NBA All-Star, an NBA champion and a potential future Hall of Famer in his own right.

It should be exciting to see what Banchero does during his rookie campaign as a member of the Magic. He is their best hope at turning Orlando into a winning team.