Very impressive for his first dribbles and shots in the Magic jersey, Paolo Banchero has already conquered all observers. Two matches will have been enough to make him the big favorite for the Rookie Of The Year trophy, and some are already predicting a career like Carmelo Anthony. For Draymond Green, Banchero will quickly become one of the best players of his generation, and Orlando therefore hit the mark, without giving him a single try!
A few minutes before the Draft, everyone was convinced that the Magic would select Jabari Smith Jr, and that Banchero would be chosen in 3rd position by the Rockets.
“All we heard at that time was that I would be chosen number 3 by Houston”, reminds Banchero to Yahoo Sports. “That’s kind of what I had in mind, and it suited me. I was happy wherever I went because I knew that in the end I would be good. But in Houston, I would say that’s where my head was at that time. »
“They made it clear to me before the Draft that none of these articles were true and that they were very interested in me”
Banchero was thrilled to join the Rockets because he saw himself playing alongside longtime friends Jalen Green and Josh Christopher.
” I grew up on the West Coast with both, and I’ve played against them since I was 12-13. Me from Seattle, and them from California, we played in a lot of tournaments and camps together. So yes, it’s true, they really contacted me. »
But now, 48 hours before the Draft, the Magic decides to call Banchero. A simple videoconference.
“I was a little surprised that they called me because, I repeat, I had in mind to go to Houston” he continues. “I liked what they showed me. They have an excellent staff. Even when I first met them in Chicago during the Draft Combine, I enjoyed their talk. But like I said before, all the articles said they weren’t really thinking about me. And then they made it clear to me before the Draft that none of these articles were true and that they were very interested in me. That’s when I knew it might not be Houston. »
Finally, it will be the Magic, and at 19, Banchero has just signed a summer league with 20 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds on average. He still wanted to play, but his leaders had seen enough.
” In the end, I know my game, and I just did what I know how to do he concludes. ” I knew that if I played my game, everything would happen naturally. I didn’t feel like I had to prove that I was the first choice. I was chosen first. The Magic did what they had to do. They know they made the right decision. I wasn’t too worried about it, but I really wanted to come and do the show, that’s for sure.. »