Paolo Banchero is surprise No 1 overall pick for Magic in NBA draft

The Orlando Magic took Paolo Banchero first overall in the NBA draft at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on Thursday, with Gonzaga big man Chet Holmgren going to the Oklahoma City Thunder and Auburn forward Jabari Smith headed to the Houston Rockets.

Banchero, who averaged 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 39 starts in his one year at Duke, will look to turn around a lackluster Magic after their 22-60 season.

“I plan on bringing everything I have to Orlando,” Banchero, dressed in a show-stopping bedazzled purple suit, told reporters.

“First off, just a winning mindset, a work-first mindset. Just ready to get in with the guys and get to work. This is one of the best moments of my life. I’m super excited.”

While draft night shocks are rare, Orlando’s selection surprised many – including Banchero himself – with some experts having predicted sharpshooter Smith would take the top spot.

“I don’t even know what to say. I can’t believe what just happened, honestly,” said the 19-year-old Banchero, who helped lead the Blue Devils to the Final Four this year. “I wanted to be in the NBA but I didn’t know I would be here.”

Holmgren, a seven-footer, said he would use his size to help the Thunder, who were 24-58 last season. “I can use my length and my quickness to cover a lot of ground and take up space,” he told reporters.

Smith said he was looking forward to playing in Houston. “Ultimately I just want to win championships and be labeled as a winner, always deep in the playoffs, somebody always competing for championships,” Smith said. “That’s what I want to be.”

Rounding out the top five, the Sacramento Kings picked up Iowa forward Keegan Murray and the Detroit Pistons took Purdue’s Jaden Ivey.

The draft, which kicked off a week after the Golden State Warriors collected their fourth NBA title in eight years, featured a strong cohort of international talent.

Canadians Bennedict Mathurin and Shaedon Sharpe were selected sixth and seventh by the Indiana Pacers and Portland Trail Blazers. Australian Dyson Daniels went eighth to the New Orleans Pelicans, Polish-American Jeremy Sochan went ninth to the San Antonio Spurs and the New York Knicks selected Frenchman Ousmane Dieng 11th. Dieng was later traded to the Thunder.

2022 NBA draft first-round selections

1) Paolo Banchero,PF, Orlando Magic

2) Chet Holmgren, C/PF, Oklahoma City Thunder

3) Jabari Smith Jr, PF, Houston Rockets

4) Keegan Murray, PF, Sacramento Kings

5) Jaden Ivey, SG, Detroit Pistons

6) Bennedict Mathurin, SF, Indiana Pacers

7) Shaedon Sharpe, SG, Portland Trail Blazers

8) Dyson Daniels, PG/SG, New Orleans Pelicans (from Lakers)

9) Jeremy Sochan, PF, San Antonio Spurs

10) Johnny Davis, SG, Washington Wizards

11) Ousmane Dieng, SF, New York Knicks (traded to Thunder)

12) Jalen Williams, SG, Oklahoma City Thunder (from Clippers)

13) Jalen Duren, C, Charlotte Hornets (traded to Pistons via Knicks)

14) Ochai Agbaji, SG, Cleveland Cavaliers

15) Mark Williams, C, Charlotte Hornets (from Pelicans)

16) AJ Griffin, SF, Atlanta Hawks

17) Tari Eason, PF, Houston Rockets (from Brooklyn)

18) Dalen Terry, SG, Chicago Bulls

19) Jake LaRavia, SF, Minnesota Timberwolves (traded to Grizzlies)

20) Malaki Branham, SG, San Antonio Spurs

21) Christian Braun, SG, Denver Nuggets

22) Walker Kessler, C, Memphis Grizzlies (from Jazz, traded to Timberwolves)

23) David Roddy, SF, Philadelphia 76ers (traded to Grizzlies)

24) MarJon Beauchamp, SG, Milwaukee Bucks

25) Blake Wesley, G, San Antonio Spurs (from Celtics)

26) Wendell Moore, SF, Dallas Mavericks (traded to Timberwolves)

27) Nikola Jovic, SF, Miami Heat

28) Patrick Baldwin Jr, PF, Golden State Warriors

29) TyTy Washington, PG, Memphis Grizzlies

30) Peyton Watson, SF, Oklahoma City Thunder (from Suns)