The 2022 NBA Draft order has been set and the list of eligible players is officially locked in. We’re going to take a look at the top prospects in the 2022 NBA Draft, assess their strengths and weaknesses, and provide a player comparison for how we see them developing at the next level. Here’s a look at Duke F Paolo Banchero.
Update — Banchero was selected by the Magic with the No. 1 overall pick in the draft.
Paolo Banchero Draft Profile
Banchero averaged 17.2 ppg and 7.7 rpg in his lone season at Duke under Coach K, helping lead the Blue Devils to the Final Four in the NCAA Tournament. The projected top-three draft prospect is 6’10 with a 7’0.5 wingspan, displaying good size and length for a team that needs depth in the front court. In addition to his Final Four run with the Blue Devils, Banchero was named the 2022 ACC Rookie of the Year, first-team All-ACC, ACC All-Rookie team, and a consensus second-team All-American. With a track record of success at the college level, here’s how Banchero projects in the NBA.
Banchero is arguably the top forward in this class with a knack for using power and finesse to get his shots inside the paint. His size allows him to match up with established big men in the league, but his quickness can give him an advantage against traditional bigs in the league. While outside shooting may not be a strength for him, he has the confidence to take the outside shot and is a solid ball-handler as well. In a league that is evolving to smaller, fast-paced lineups his knack for playmaking and creative passing gives him an advantage in transitioning to the pro level.
Banchero showed some improvement in his lateral quickness but it will certainly be an area of improvement once he’s drafted into the NBA. Part of the solution will be his effort on defense and his discipline in staying on his man or making the correct help read. Against better defenders at the pro level, his shot selection will have to improve. Despite his confidence in his outside shot he could stand to improve his efficiency. Many of his areas of improvement are coachable and will improve with more reps at the NBA level.