Paolo Banchero Draft Scouting Report: Pro Comparison, Updated Magic Roster

Erin WalshJune 24, 2022

Duke forward Paolo Banchero (5) against Texas Tech during a college basketball game in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament in San Francisco, Thursday, March 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

One of the most highly touted prospects is off the board as Duke Blue Devils star Paolo Banchero was selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NBA draft by the Orlando Magic on Thursday.

Bleacher Report Draft Expert Jonathan Wasserman's Scouting Report

Player: Paolo Banchero

Position: PF

Height: 6'10"

Pro Comparison: Chris Webber

Scouting Report: Powerful and skilled, Paolo Banchero projects as the draft's most pro-ready scorer. His ability to self-create, shoot off the dribble, hit threes and play-make carves out a path toward NBA stardom.

Magic Active Roster and Average Salary (Expiration Year)

Paolo Banchero, PF: Rookie Scale

Jonathan Isaac, PF: $17.4M (2025)

Markelle Fultz, PG: $16.7M (2024)

Terrence Ross, SG: $13.5M (2023)

Wendell Carter Jr., C: $12.5M (2026)

Jalen Suggs, SG: $7.5M (2025)

Franz Wagner, SF: $5.7M (2025)

Cole Anthony, PG: $4M (2024)

Chuma Okeke, PF: $3.8M (2024)

R.J. Hampton, PG: $2.8M (2024)

Moritz Wagner, C: $1.8M (2023)

Devin Cannady, PG: $1.3M (2024)

Free Agents

Gary Harris, SG: UFA

Mo Bamba, C: RFA

Robin Lopez, C: UFA

Bol Bol, C: RFA

Admiral Schofield, SF: RFA

Ignas Brazdeikis, SF: RFA

Banchero is a solid fit with the Magic as the franchise has been looking for a primary creator for a long time. The 19-year-old can create offense off the bounce unlike most of the other Orlando players.

Banchero was also one of the best ball handlers in this year's draft and will easily add playmaking to take the pressure off Jalen Suggs, Markelle Fultz and Cole Anthony.

It wouldn't be surprising to see Banchero slot into a starting role in Orlando immediately. He could easily play alongside Anthony, Suggs, Franz Wagner and Wendell Carter Jr.

With Jonathan Isaac recovering from hamstring surgery after suffering an injury during his ACL rehab, it's unclear if he'll be ready for the start of the season or how he'll fit into the rotation moving forward.

Banchero had an impressive freshman season with the Blue Devils, averaging 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists while shooting 47.8 percent from the floor and 33.8 percent from deep in 39 games.

He led Duke to an appearance in the Final Four during the 2021-22 season and was also named ACC Rookie of the Year.

Given his size and athletic ability, Banchero will be an instant difference-maker for Orlando.