Paolo Banchero of Duke was picked by the Orlando Magic with the first overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft on Thursday night at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
During ESPN’s draft broadcast, Banchero said, ” I dont even know what to say. I can’t believe what just happened. Honestly.”
In coach Mike Krzyzewski’s final campaign, 6-foot-10 forward Banchero assisted Duke in reaching the Final Four. In his lone season with the Blue Devils, he had averages of 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 3.2 assists.
According to Caesars Sportsbook, Banchero and Jabari Smith Jr. of Auburn were both listed as +350 co-favorites to win the NBA’s rookie of the year award in 2022-23.
In 2021-22, the Magic had the second-worst record in the league with a record of 22-60. The previous two seasons, they failed to make the playoffs.
Jabari Smith gets third overall pick in the NBA Draft 2022, joins Rockets
The most highly regarded basketball recruit to ever don an Auburn uniform appeared to be mere seconds away from becoming the program’s first No. 1 overall NBA Draft pick.
But the draft is rarely that straightforward, particularly when there is a large class of top talent.
The Houston Rockets chose Auburn forward Jabari Smith with the third pick in the draft on Thursday night, making him the player who was chosen highest in Auburn basketball history.
The No. 7 recruit in the 2021 class, a 19-year-old from Sandy Creek, Georgia, near Atlanta, excelled during his one season at Auburn. The forward, who stands 6 feet 10 inches tall, scored 16.9 points, on 42 percent 3-point shooting, in 28.8 minutes per game.