After a pair of impressive performances that highlighted exactly why he was the Orlando Magic‘s pick atop the 2022 NBA Draft, Palo Banchero’s time in the Las Vegas Summer League is officially over.

… no not because he’s injured, playing poorly, or leaving the team for one reason or another; Banchero has largely come as advertised following a successful tenure at Duke; the reason the Magic man is leaving Las Vegas, or at least leaving the court as part of Orlando’s Summer squad is because the team has seen exactly what they needed to from the first overall pick.

That’s right, per Marc Stein, Panchero is being held out of the final two games of Vegas Summer League, including a much-anticipated matchup against second overall pick Chet Holmgren in favor of evaluating other players who maybe aren’t as likely to make the 15 man roster or could be fighting for a spot on the Lakeland Magic via an Exhibition 10 contract. At best, Banchero balls out, looks great, and sells a few more jerseys for the Magic before training camp opens up. At worst, he suffers an injury and suddenly the entire prospects of the Magic’s very consequential 2022-23 season is thrown up in the air in the worst possible way.

As far as business decisions are concerned, that’s a pretty easy choice if you’re general manager John Hammond.

Though they may once again find themselves on the outside looking in when the playoffs roll around, the 2022-23 Orlando Magic might just surprise some people this fall with their exciting collection of young, hungry players. But for that to happen, the players like Banchero need to actually see the court and play. This decision, though potentially unpopular helps to make that the more likely outcome.

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David Yapkowitz ·

And hey, at least magic fans still have the following highlight to hang their hats on – that’s worthy of a jersey purchase if you ask me.