Paolo Banchero, possible No. 1 pick, declares for 2022 NBA Draft

Paolo Banchero, to the surprise of no one, is headed to the 2022 NBA Draft. Duke and Banchero made the official announcement on Wednesday, April 20.

The 6-foot-10, 250-pound Banchero is the second Blue Devil to declare for the NBA Draft this week, joining center Mark Williams.

During the 2021-22 season, Banchero — the ACC Freshman of the Year — posted monster numbers. The 6-foot-10, 250-pound power forward averaged 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.1 steals per game.

Banchero was an effective shooter from all levels of the floor, too: 47.8 FG%, 52.5 2P%, 33.8 3P% and 72.9 FT%. According to Bart Torvik’s shot data, Banchero connected on 67.6 percent on his attempts at the rim (74.4 FG% on cuts), including 41 dunks, which was the fifth most among ACC players this season.

An all-around talent, Banchero has a splendid floor game. He led Duke’s roster in usage rate this season (27.2 percent), while ranking second in both assist rate (17.5 percent) and defensive rebound rate (19.1 percent). Banchero saved his best for last this season. As the stakes rose, Banchero’s game only got better.

He’s a special playmaker; the court mapping and vision are so impressive. Banchero finished the season with a positive assist-to-turnover ratio as well: 124 assists, 92 turnovers. (Per 40 minutes: 3.9 assists, 2.9 turnovers).

Banchero scored 0.94 points per post-up possession this season. He also shot 44 percent on isolation attempts, per Synergy Sports.

According to Pivot Analysis, Duke was +452 in 1,249 minutes with Banchero on the floor this season. The Blue Devils posted a net rating of +22.2 points per 100 possessions in those minutes.

Banchero was named First Team All-ACC and to the AP All-American roster. He is the final All-American player to be coached by Mike Krzyzewski.


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