Despite the predictions of many an online expert, talk show host, and armchair expert, Orlando Magic leadership stunned social media last Thursday when they made the surprise choice of Duke forward, 19-year-old Paulo Banchero, for its first overall pick in the draft.
The Magic was widely expected to choose Auburn forward Jabari Smith as the top choice for the draft, though surprise at the choice quickly pivoted to approval as many sportsball enthusiasts believe Banchero is a likely favorite for Rookie of the Year this season.
Orlando Magic has placed 29th in scoring in the last two seasons and has been in the bottom 10 ranking for scoring in 10 of the last 11 years, and according to NBA.com’s Josh Cohen, choosing Banchero is the first step to shaking off that slump and becoming a more offensive team.
“The only way the Magic are going to make major progress is if they become a more potent offensive team. By selecting Paolo Banchero, arguably the best offensive talent in this year’s draft, they took a major step forward in doing just that.”– – JOSH COHEN, NBA.COM
Side Note: Former Orlando Magic team member, Shaquille O’Neal, who spent the first four years of his NBA career in The City Beautiful before playing for the Lakers, has made waves recently by hinting that he would be interested in purchasing the team from its current owners, the DeVos family. .
According to Statista.com, the Orlando Magic franchise has an estimated value of $1.64
million billion. O’Neal recently sold his Florida mansion for $11 million, and he has an estimated net worth of $400 million.