The exact moment Paolo Banchero knew Magic picked him proves he had no idea
The biggest shocker of the night during the 2022 NBA Draft was hearing Paolo Banchero’s name called as the first overall pick to the Orlando Magic.
The buzz surrounding the Magic’s top selection had been primarily centered on Auburn’s Jabari Smith Jr., with Banchero slated by many to go third overall to the Houston Rockets. The two ended up swapping positions in a flip-flop, at least from an outsider’s perspective, that few knew was coming. Even NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski seemed to get in on that info late.
Apparently Paolo Banchero was late to the news, too. Magic president Jeff Weltman revealed such on a recent appearance on the The Ryen Russillo Podcast. Russillo asked him exactly when their side actually informed the Duke product of the decision:
“Probably within a minute of the pick,” said the Magic exec followed by a slight chuckle.
Did you call him?
“One of our guys did.”
There were concerns about Paolo Banchero potentially being blindsided by the Magic selection and that he was already envisioning a future with the Rockets before the pick was made. But Weltman was quick to point out that the communication with Banchero’s side was there.
“Paolo’s crew was forthcoming. We had good dialogue with them. He gave us every information, jumped through every hoop that we asked him to. We had a good wealth of information and all the kind of protocols we asked the other guys to do, he did. So that was never really a concern for us.”
Surprise or not, the Magic have their man in Paolo Banchero.