Draymond Green on Paolo Banchero: 'I hope the organization is ready'

2022-07-15 05:37
Credit: AFP - Scanpix
Credit AFP - Scanpix

Italian-American forward Paolo Banchero was selected with the no. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft by the Orlando Magic.

Banchero immediately blossomed in the Las Vegas Summer League so much so that he only played 2 matches for the team before being shut down for the remainder of the tournament.

"Paolo Banchero, I think, is one of the ones," Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green said on his podcast. "And the reason I think Paolo is one of the guys is because of the things he did on the basketball court that were not scoring."

Draymond Green

Draymond  Green
Draymond  Green
MIN: 29.94
PTS: 7.58 (54.25%)
REB: 7.25
As: 6.73
ST: 1.34
BL: 1.03
TO: 2.93
GM: 67

"Out here in the Summer League, guys scoring the basketball, it's going to happen, it is what it is. You're going to get every opportunity because if you got drafted, especially with a 1st round pick, they're featuring you and trying to make you score because they want to look good for drafting you," Draymond explained.

Banchero averaged 20 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, and a block during the two Summer League games he played. The Magic won both games when their no. 1 pick was on the roster. The two matches afterward were both losses.

"Paolo's game is a little bit different," Green continued. "Yes, he did all those things with the basketball, yes, he made the plays but the plays that he made that did not involve him having the basketball is why I think Paolo is going to be one of the guys."

"Him getting on teammates coming in as a rookie, the winning plays he was making down the stretch. When was the last time we saw the Orlando Magic compete and win games like we saw them competing and winning games when Paolo was on the court in those first two Summer League games? It's been a while," the flamboyant player talked.

Banchero was the first no. 1 overall pick for the Magic since 2004 when the organization selected Dwight Howard with the top pick. He went on to become a cornerstone player for the franchise for multiple years. Draymond Green thinks the same about Banchero.

"I hope that organization is ready for that player because that player is a winner, he cares," he explained. "I mean, he was out there playing the Summer League games like he was in the NBA Finals, with that type of intensity."

"That is a winner right in front of your eyes. I hope that organization is ready for that type of player," Draymond said. "I don't think that organization has seen that type of player for a long time."

Before 2022, the Magic picked 6 times inside the top-6 in the NBA draft with multiple selections not panning out for the franchise. Victor Oladipo (2nd overall, 2013), Aaron Gordon (4th, 2014), Mario Hezonja (5th, 2015), Johnathan Isaac (6th, 2017), and Mo Bamba (6th, 2018) - all of them didn't have much of an impact on the organization's trajectory.

"The reality is, if it doesn't work, everyone is going to say 'Paolo, he failed, he wasn't this, he wasn't that', and I'm not saying that if it doesn't work out, it isn't Paolo's fault. I'm just saying it's never told the opposite way," Green told. "Before we even get to that point, I hope the organization is ready for that guy."

"That kid is special," the Warriors forward explained. "I said it when he was at Duke, I saw it, I watched it, that kid is special. He has that 'it', like, he wants it. You just don't see it that much in the NBA anymore, especially with the young guys coming up."

Banchero is one of the youngest players in the NBA at only 19 years old. "I'm looking forward to watching his career grow and blossom," Green hoped. "I was actually happy to see him get shut down in the Summer League. I thought enough had been seen and we knew we saw what we needed to see."

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