Year after year, NBA teams desperately search for that one player who can put them back on the map; A player who not only puts their franchise back into the playoff picture, but a player who can fill the seats. There has never been a time in the history of the sport where rookies had as many expectations and weights on their shoulders as they do now. Some players are able to live up to these expectations, but others are not so fortunate. So, in this series, I’ll be diving into this year’s NBA draft prospects in hopes of finding the next NBA superstar.
Kicking off this series is my #3 prospect this year, Duke’s Paolo Banchero. The former five-star prospect from Seattle, WA averaged 17.2 PPG, 7.8 RPG, and 3.2 APG on 47.8% shooting.
Weight 250 lbs
Quality low post scoring
Good scorer off the dribble
Adequate mid-range shooting for a big
Footwork is some of the best you will see. This is one of the most underrated aspect when evaluating prospects. Banchero’s footwork is the best I have ever seen personally from scouting big men.
High IQ. This will serve him well at the next level, as you will rarely see Banchero make a bonehead play that costs his team down the stretch.
Plays with really good balance.
Needs to improve his 3-point shooting.
Will struggle to defend quicker players on the perimeter.
Turnovers could be cut down.
Paolo is one of the three cannot miss prospects in this draft, and projects to be a very good player in the NBA for a long time. His comparisons to Chuma Okeke and Luis Scola are more in regards to his playstyle rather than skill as a player. When I look at Banchero’s footwork I instantly think of Luis Scola who had some of the best footwork in NBA history. His one-on-one scoring ability is extremely impressive, as is his fadeaway. His passing and playmaking improved throughout the season and especially into March as well. If Banchero can work on his three-point shooting I have no doubt we have a perennial All-Star on our hands.
Draft Projection: Top 5
Team Fits: Detroit Pistons, Orlando Magic, Indiana Pacers