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The Orlando Magic shocked the world by taking Duke’s Paolo Banchero with the first-overall pick of the 2022 NBA Draft.
The Orlando Magic had the worst record in the Eastern Conference this past season, and it helped them win the first-overall pick by way of winning the NBA Draft Lottery. Throughout the pre-draft process, it was heavily expected that Orlando would select Auburn’s Jabari Smith Jr. with the No. 1 selection.
Well on the night of the NBA Draft, the Magic shocked the world and Twitter by selecting Duke’s Paolo Banchero with the first-overall selection.
Twitter stunned after Magic select Paolo Banchero in NBA Draft
As Stadium’s Jeff Goodman mentions in his tweet above, Banchero never worked out for Orlando. His colleague, NBA insider Shams Charania, said the Magic never held a formal meeting or workout with the Duke forward in the entire pre-draft process.
The selection of Banchero caused Smith to drop to the No. 3 spot, where he was drafted by the Houston Rockets. The Rockets have to be thrilled that the projected top-pick in the entire draft fell to them. As for the No. 2 pick, the Oklahoma City Thunder selected Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren.
This past season with the Blue Devils, Banchero averaged 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists, while putting up a field goal percentage of 47.8 through 39 games, all of which were starts.
Banchero now joins Shaquille O’Neal and Dwight Howard as players taken by the Magic with the No. 1-overall pick.