Orlando Magic forward Paolo Banchero enjoyed a sensational summer-league debut on Thursday, as the 2022 NBA draft's No. 1 overall pick posted 17 points, six assists and four rebounds in a 91-77 win over the Houston Rockets.
Banchero began hot with a pair of three-pointers and a fadeaway mid-range jumper in the first seven minutes.
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The ex-Duke star's scorching start got NBA Twitter talking.
Banchero's passing skills were on full display, like when he stole an errant Rockets dish, ran up the floor and found Caleb Houstan for a corner three:
The Magic played through Banchero with great success.
The 6'10", 250-pound Banchero's skills got people talking, but so did his size.
It's only summer-league play, but it's easy to see that Banchero is just built different.
It was a quieter night for Rockets forward Jabari Smith Jr., the No. 3 pick in the NBA draft. He finished with 10 points on 4-of-10 shooting, seven rebounds and three assists.
Zach Braziller of the New York Post summed up the two rookie stars' situations Thursday.
The Rockets offense largely revolved around Josh Christopher (22 points, 7-of-18 shooting), while rookie Tari Eason (14 points on 6-of-17 shooting) also got his looks.
Still, Smith had his moments, including a bucket against Banchero's defense and a smooth mid-range jumper.
The Magic and Rockets will both play next on Saturday.
Banchero and the Magic will face No. 4 overall pick Keegan Murray and the Sacramento Kings at 4 p.m. ET.
Smith and the Rockets will go up against No. 2 overall selection Chet Holmgren and the Oklahoma City Thunder at 8 p.m.