Orlando Magic forward Paolo Banchero said winning Rookie of the Year is a priority for him this season.
"Besides the team success and us having a great year, that's definitely my main goal," Banchero told Marc Stein.
Banchero certainly has high expectations after averaging 17.2 points and 7.8 rebounds per game at Duke, showcasing the ability to score in a variety of ways. The 2022 No. 1 overall pick is the preseason favorite to win Rookie of the Year, per Fanduel, ahead of Jaden Ivey and Keegan Murray.
No. 2 pick Chet Holmgren will also miss the season because of a foot injury.
There is no guarantee the top pick wins the Rookie of the Year award. Toronto Raptors forward Scottie Barnes won it last year after going fourth in the 2021 draft, following LaMelo Ball, Ja Morant and Luka Doncic, and none of them was a No. 1 overall pick.
Karl-Anthony Towns was the last player to win Rookie of the Year immediately after being drafted No. 1 overall in 2015-16 (Ben Simmons won after missing his first year).
It creates a tough task for Banchero heading into his first NBA season.