The Orlando Magic have been looking for a franchise participant since buying and selling Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers forward of the 2012-2013 season. Within the 9 years since, Orlando is 255-464 total — the worst report within the NBA over that point.
The Magic have had 4 top-five picks and three top-eight picks within the draft since buying and selling Howard. None of these gamers have made an All-Star look for Orlando. The best decide of that lot, 2013’s No. 2 total alternative Victor Oladipo, didn’t develop right into a star till he was on his third crew with the Indiana Pacers. Aaron Gordon, 2014’s No. 4 total decide, was at all times extra of a task participant than a centerpiece. Mario Hezonja was a straight up bust because the No. 5 decide in 2015. Jonathan Isaac — the No. 6 decide in 2017 — emerged as a tremendous defender, however now he hasn’t performed in two years due to accidents and weird offcourt pursuits. Mo Bamba was a strong participant final season as the previous No. 6 decide in 2018, however the crew declined to present him an early contract extension.
The Magic had two top-eight picks final 12 months, and took guard Jalen Suggs at No. 5 and ahead Franz Wagner at No. 8. Wagner was significantly spectacular as a rookie, and must be an excellent piece transferring ahead. There stays loads of hope for Suggs, as properly, however neither appears like a future All-NBA degree participant.
The Magic touchdown the No. 1 total decide in 2022 is their golden alternative to lastly discover their franchise participant. Chet Holmgren, Jabari Smith Jr., and Paolo Banchero are all professional choices to go first within the draft, however just one participant actually suits what the Magic want.
That participant is Paolo Banchero. Learn our full breakdown on why Banchero is our high prospect on this draft. Because of this the Magic ought to take Banchero at No. 1 total within the 2022 NBA Draft.
Paolo Banchero has a greater probability to develop into a main initiator than anybody within the 2022 NBA Draft
Banchero, Holmgren, and Smith are all nice prospects with distinct ability units. Holmgren is an elite rim protector on protection who will present offensive worth by transferring the ball, hitting spot-up threes, and ending properly on the rim with dunks. Smith is maybe one of the best shooter within the draft as a 6’10 sniper who can take and make extraordinarily tough pictures.
The explanation Banchero has been our No. 1 prospect because the begin of the cycle is as a result of he’s the one one of many three who tasks as a lead offensive choice within the NBA.
At 6’10, 250 kilos, Banchero thrives taking part in with the ball in his arms along with his superior dealing with and glorious passing means for a participant his dimension. Banchero can manufacture offense for himself and his teammates off the bounce, whereas Holmgren and Smith each want another person to set them up. Holmgren and Smith aren’t bending the opposing protection and discovering teammates for straightforward scores like this. There aren’t many (any?) NBA gamers who can do that at 6’10, 250 kilos.
Banchero can rating off the bounce, too. Put a much bigger participant on Banchero and he’ll typically shake free utilizing his deal with. Put a smaller, sooner defender on Banchero and he’ll use his dimension and energy to his benefit to attain inside. Throw two on the ball, and Paolo could be counted on to make the correct go.
Once more, neither Smith or Holmgren can create separation off the dribble like this towards a set protection within the halfcourt.
Banchero’s means to create benefits at his dimension is what separates him from his friends on this draft class. That’s an exquisite match with what Orlando’s roster wants.
The Magic are nonetheless looking for a main creator
The Magic have loads of good items proper now. What they’re lacking is a star shot creator to assist slot everybody into acceptable roles and maximize their strengths. Listed here are the core items on Orlando’s roster in the intervening time:
- G Jalen Suggs: The 6’4 combo guard does somewhat little bit of all the pieces. Suggs tasks as a perfect secondary pick-and-roll choice, a transition killer, a feisty point-of-attack defender, and he must be round a league-average three-point shooter subsequent 12 months (say, 35 %) after hitting solely 21 % of his threes this season. Suggs took 39 % of his pictures on the rim final season, a mark that ranked within the 88th percentile amongst combo guards, per Cleansing the Glass. Whereas that’s actually spectacular, he feels extra comfy attacking defenses which are already compromised somewhat than being the principle man who creates benefits off the bounce.
- G Cole Anthony: Anthony simply turned 22 years outdated, and is coming off an encouraging season in his second season within the NBA. The 6’2 guard is a greater shooter than his 33.7 % mark would point out, and he’s a very good athlete going to the rim. He additionally graded out in solely the forty second percentile as a pick-and-roll ball handler, and had some struggles ending. He’s one other participant who would profit from taking part in subsequent to a star who may set him up for straightforward pictures.
- F Franz Wagner: Final 12 months’s No. 8 total decide is a 6’9 wing who is nice at loads of issues somewhat than being nice at something. He’s a reliable defender each on the perimeter and inside, confirmed some promise as a pick-and-roll ball handler and passer, and made 35 % of his threes. Each crew within the league covets massive wings with Wagner’s ability set. He may be one of the best creator on the roster proper now, nevertheless it feels overly formidable to fit him in as a No. 1 choice long-term.
- F/C Wendell Carter Jr.: Carter is a combo massive coming off a career-year in his fourth professional season. He’s equally sized to Banchero at 6’10, 270 kilos, however doesn’t create off the bounce like Paolo. As an alternative, Carter is usually an undersized middle with flashes of passing and capturing ability who can keep strong defensively and compete on the glass. He’s a pleasant participant, however you’re not passing on a possible lead creator due to him.
- C Mo Bamba: Bamba is a restricted free agent and is probably not round subsequent season. His body is just like Holmgren’s with a 7’7 wingspan, and he hit 38 % of his threes this season, totally on spot-ups. Bamba’s ability set can be a pleasant complement to Banchero’s if Orlando does take him at No. 1.
You possibly can add Markelle Fultz, Chuma Okeke, and R.J. Hampton to the combo as properly. All eight of these gamers talked about will likely be 24 years outdated or youthful subsequent season. Orlando has hit on some good younger items within the draft, however all of them would look so significantly better taking part in subsequent to a go-to offensive choice.
Paolo Banchero is each one of the best match for the Magic and greatest total expertise within the 2022 NBA Draft
Right here’s a common rule of thumb I attempt to keep on with: If an NBA crew doesn’t have a main creator, their largest want is discovering one. Holmgren is an superior expertise who would instantly present a giant enhance to Orlando’s protection, however he’s not creating simple offensive alternatives for himself and his teammates. Smith is an unreal shooter, however he’s at his greatest when somebody units him up for his pictures. Smith’s largest weak point is scoring off the dribble and ending contained in the arc after he solely 43 % of his two-point subject targets at Auburn. Holmgren’s one-on-one scoring remains to be a query mark regardless of all of his strengths that contribute to profitable basketball. Each are play finishers, not play creators.
The Magic will get an excellent participant in the event that they draft both, nevertheless it appears like they are going to nonetheless be seeking their main creator if it occurs. In fact, it’s potential Suggs or Wagner turns into that man. Anthony and Fultz may pop in that function, too. It simply feels somewhat too optimistic to assume any of the 4 can actually be the man for a franchise.
Banchero could be the man in the correct atmosphere. This can be a star transfer.
This can be a star transfer:
Paolo Banchero is at his greatest when attacking off the catch. So good at manipulating that 2v1 with Williams and the opposing massive to his benefit. pic.twitter.com/KsSvBObWSU
— Itamar (@Itamar_17_10) March 25, 2022
This can be a star transfer, too:
Banchero isn’t an ideal participant. He’s not a tremendous run-and-jump athlete. He solely made 33 % of his threes this 12 months, and his catch-and-shoot means from the NBA line stays a query mark. His lack of elite pace or eye-popping size limits his protection to round “common” — which makes him possible the worst defender of any potential top-3 alternative.
On the similar time, Banchero can create offense off the bounce in a approach Holmgren and Smith can’t dream of. He’s by far one of the best ball handler within the halfcourt, and by far one of the best stay dribble passer. He additionally has a superb mid-range scoring bundle, and a few good strikes within the publish.
The early stories are that Orlando will select between Smith and Holmgren, however a minimum of to me, Banchero’s ability set is precisely what the Magic have been missing.