The Orlando Magic shocked the world when they opted to take Duke Blue Devil Paolo Banchero with the first pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. All signs had been pointing towards Jabari Smith Jr. being their guy even up until hours before the draft had commenced. But their smokescreen was made clear once NBA commissioner Adam Silver made the announcement.
Banchero, who looked legitimately in shock, perhaps in a mixture of both surprise at the pick and in being in awe of the moment, sent out a message to Orlando after the dust settled:
“Orlando, LETS WORK,” said the Magic's newest stud.
Orlando LETS WORK🏁💨💙
— Paolo Banchero🇮🇹 (@Pp_doesit) June 24, 2022
Paolo Banchero indeed needs to be the leader and face of the franchise for a Magic team that hasn't really been able to get off the ground in over a decade.
Aside from a few low-seeded entries into the postseason in the recent past, they've largely been an afterthought in the NBA. Orlando now has a few nice pieces in place in Wendell Carter Jr., Cole Anthony, and the two lottery picks from last year in Franz Wagner and Jalen Suggs.
But they still needed a bona fide star who a team can run an offense through. Paolo Banchero has been that all his life and can be that guy for the Magic now and going forward. Sounds like he's ready to get to work to get there, too.