Paolo Banchero made such a solid impression on the Orlando Magic that they parked him after just a couple of summer league games so they could take a look at some less certain prospects. Magic coach Jamahl Mosley seems pretty pleased so far:
“He’s just physically so gifted, but his mind is so similar to the way Franz [Wagner] sees the game, the way Markelle [Fultz] sees the game, the way Wendell [Carter Jr.] can see the game... The ability to know when, where, why I’m doing it and how to do it, [Banchero] has that in him already. We watched film together during summer league and we’d sit and pause the film and say, ‘Tell me what you see.’ And he’s breaking things down, ‘If he comes in here, I can move this guy there. If I can turn the corner, I can go for the lob.’ He’s breaking things down right away now. Because he has the pass-first mentality, it’s going to be another decision-maker.”
Nice how he slipped fellow Blue Devil Carter into there.
There’s clearly going to be a lot of pressure on young Banchero this season, but it sounds like Orlando is confident that he’s up to it. We’re not saying that he’s going to be Rookie of the Year and it’s not that important in the big picture. Lots of guys have won Rookie of the Year and not had great careers and vice-versa.
What we do think is reasonable is this: we expect he will have a solid year and build on that and become a very, very good NBA player.