Will Paolo Banchero end up at the Los Angeles Lakers one day?

Orlando Magic president Jeff Weltman has left an indelible mark in the history of the NBA Draft. With the face of an inveterate poker player, he entered the Barclays Center with Jabari Smith, the first choice even by the bookmakers, and sent Adam Silver to tell everyone that he instead took him. Paolo Banchero without even giving him a workout.

The story of the first choices in the hands of the Magic (franchise born just in 1989) is enclosed in three players of which only two have worn the Orlando shirt. The third is Chris Webber, that the same evening of the 1993 draft was sent to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for Anfernee Hardaway.

Instead, the parable of the other two, Shaquille O’Neal (1992 draft) and Dwight Howard (2004 draft) was curiously very similar, and since there is no two without three, Banchero himself could follow it.

Shaquille O’Neal dragged the Magic to notoriety, leading them to the final of the year 1995. We know that the center of LSU changed the rules of the game. Until he left the ship for Los Angeles and managed to be historic by winning three rings paired with Kobe Bryant.

Dwight Howard, after almost 15 years (it was 2009), he dominated the Eastern Conference and led Orlando to the second Finals in franchise history by losing 4-1 to the Lakers. And precisely with LeBron James’ Lakers, Howard ends up winning the 2020 title … in the Orlando bubble.

With these two historical precedents, Paolo Banchero’s task promises to be anything but easy. Who knows if he will be able to break the series by finally bringing the Magic to the title, and if in the future he will accept a courtship of the gold and purple siren of Los Angeles …



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