It’s the night of Paolo Banchero, an Italian phenomenon at the NBA Draft (with the destiny already written)

Tonight the NBA Draft starting at 2:00: the doors of the most prestigious basketball league in the world will open for the Seattle native betrothed Italbasket.

Here we are, it’s Paolo Banchero’s big day. The phenomenon born in 2002, a native of Seattle but of clear Italian origins (Ligurian by his great-grandfather, specifically) and who has already renewed his loyalty to the Azzurra national basketball team in these hours after the passport obtained two years ago, prepares for grand entry into the National Basketball Association. In the night, in fact, at 2:00 Italian time, the Barclays Center in Brooklyn will be the scene of the usual NBA draft, the ceremony in which the best 60 prospects from the American college (this year 58 actually, having both Bucks and Heat lost the right to call the second round due to market irregularities) and from the most disparate parts of the world they will definitely find a home among the 30 teams in the league. The calling order, established with the lottery a few weeks ago or the draw system designed to reward the teams with the worst NBA record by giving them more chance to get a high call and then choose first by “leveling” the league with a view to ‘competitive balance cornerstone of the American championship, predicts the Orlando Magic with the absolute number 1, closely followed by the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Houston Rockets. Immediately off the podium, however, the Sacramento Kings.

It is not necessary to go much further if the protagonist of the forecasts is called Paolo Banchero, long held to be the number 1 favorite at first choice but today – according to the various analysis sites of the draft – firmly in control of the third position with the heads up between Jabari Smith2.08 wing with Auburn guard hands, e Chet Holmgren, long of Gonzaga, destined to last until the last minute for the top step. It is therefore easy to imagine, except for upheavals that do not seem to be on the horizon, that the team that will get its hands on the talent coming out of Duke will be the Texans of the Houston Rockets, one of the franchises that already last year started a reconstruction process based on the very young and pure talent of Jalen Green, Alperen Sengun, and many other young people such as Garuba, Martin Jr and Porter Jr and that with Banchero would add another important piece towards the restart and with the aim of returning to the glories of the Harden era. This would also explain the GM Stone trade a few days ago, which is right to make room for Banchero he got rid of the long Christian Woodfinished at the Dallas Mavericks, thus leaving the big forward spot at the disposal of Azzurro, in an internal couple with the Turkish Sengun who already promises a show.

The characteristics of Banchero

Born in 2002, Paolo is a big wing of about 2.10 study to become a “3”, technically a small forward then. His physical and athletic skills combined with a technique that is still refined but already very valuable in terms of touch and sensitivity of the fingertips make him – according to all the scouting reports of the last year – the safest impact player of all those in draft smell. The season spent in that of Duke, his first at the College, employed by the legend “coach K”, aka Mike Krzyzewski, have enriched his baggage of solution that today also counts the shot from outside, the ability to serve assists for the companions and a ball-handling gradually improved over time.

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In defense there is still to be done, as several analysts underline, but there is a lot of room to work Houston seems to be the franchise with the least rush of league results, to the point of assuming the Rockets in the smell of first choice even in a year, when the crack Victor Wembanyama will risk marking a generational turning point for modern basketball. Without the pressure of having to win many games at all costs and in a young and genuine roster that seems to be very close in its main components, Paolo Banchero’s NBA dream could immediately give satisfaction and fun. For him, and for all of us who will cheer on this boy.



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