The Orlando Magic on Thursday night selected Duke’s Paolo Banchero as No. 1 in the 2022 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The Oklahoma City Thunder is second only to Gonzaga center Chet Holmgren.
“I don’t even know what to say,” Banchero said on ESPN’s draft broadcast. “I can’t believe what happened now. Honestly.”
A 6-foot-10 forward, Banchero helped coach Mike Krievsky lead Duke into the final four last season. In his solo season with the Blue Devils, he averaged 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists.
According to Kaiser Sportsbook, Banchero and Auburn’s Jabri Smith Jr. were listed as +350 co-favorites to win the NBA’s Rookie of the Year award in 2022-23.
At 22-60, The Magic had the second-worst record in the league in 2021-22. They have missed the playoffs in the last two seasons.