Paolo Banchero Says Ceiling Is 'Limitless' After Being Drafted No. 1 by Magic

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJune 24, 2022

Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Orlando Magic forward Paolo Banchero, who went No. 1 overall in the 2022 NBA draft on Thursday, told Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic that he believes his ceiling is "limitless" as he begins his professional career.

"My ceiling is as high as I want it to be," Banchero said in a wide-ranging interview that covered a multitude of topics.

"Which is limitless. I set a lot of goals for myself every stage of my career. So I want to do all that—NBA Rookie of the Year, be an All-Star, make the playoffs, everything a basketball player on this stage would want to do, I want to do, plus more. But at first, I want to win. That’s the most important thing."

The 6'10" Banchero posted 17.2 points and 7.8 rebounds during his lone season at Duke, which went to the Final Four under his leadership.

Scouts and analysts thought highly of Banchero, who was routinely ranked in the top four of big boards.

Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer had Banchero first on his big board and said his game featured shades of Chris Webber and Julius Randle. Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report also had Banchero No. 1, citing his fantastic finish with the Blue Devils.

"Over Duke's last 11 games, Banchero shot 45.0 percent from three and averaged 4.2 assists. His shot-making, point-forward skills and ability to take over late in games became too assuring," Wasserman wrote.

Kyle Irving of Sporting News also put Banchero No. 1, calling him a "matchup nightmare with the potential to play the 5 in today's evolving outside-in NBA."

Banchero is now the face of the Magic franchise, which features young, potential stars such as Cole Anthony and Jalen Suggs. Orlando will count on Banchero to hopefully lead it out of the Eastern Conference cellar and become a playoff contender. He does have superstar potential in the NBA. The question now is whether he can fulfill it and jump-start Orlando again.


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