If Houston remains No. 3 overall in the first round of the 2022 NBA Draft, the most common projection for the Rockets there is Duke forward Paolo Banchero. If things go according to plan on June 23 draft night, the addition could have immediate implications.
By NBA Insider Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, league executives and scouts are optimistic about what Banchero could do as a rookie. Scotto posted his comments as part of HoopsHype’s global simulation project, where Banchero is currently projected on the Rockets.
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“Paolo is probably at the top of those big three for me because he’s the more conservative pick and he’s consistent,” an NBA executive told HoopsHype after the draw. “I like him in playoff type situations. He has the ability to make others around him better.
Based on Banchero’s high draft status, it’s extremely unlikely (barring a trade) to find an immediate playoff fit – since the teams that picked high in the first-round order were inherently bad during the last season. Thus, it will be up to him to help raise his new team to such a level.
According to Scotto, two NBA executives compared Banchero’s advantages to what New York’s Julius Randle was like during his 2020-21 All-Star season.
“Paolo gives you the most complete player to come,” added a scout.
Banchero will be the top Italian selected since Andrea Bargnani became No. 1 overall in the 2006 draft. If selected by the Rockets, Scotto says that could make big man Christian Wood a potential trade candidate.
Story: NBA executives have shared their comparisons for top prospects. Is Chet Holmgren the next Kristaps Porzingis, Karl-Anthony Towns or Anthony Davis? More comparisons for Jabari Smith, Paolo Banchero and reports in our @hoopshype aggregate mock draft https://t.co/ZlHc17MJv4
— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) May 21, 2022