Paolo Banchero has transitioned his skills and assets with utmost ease to the court for the Orlando Magic from his college playing days at Duke. It is safe to say that he has lived up to all the hype so far. If he continues on this track, Banchero could achieve something only two rookies did in the 21st century - make it to the All-Star game.
What skills does Banchero bring to the table?
We are keeping in mind that he is still a teenager. The talent that Banchero brings to the Magic franchise is simply sublime. The 6'10" forward is averaging 23.5 PPG and 8.3 RPG, proving he's the complete package.
Only two players have been selected to the All-Star game in their rookie season since 2000 (according to StatMuse). The last one to do it was Blake Griffin in '10/'11 and before him, Yao Ming had the honor in '02/'03. The way he's been playing, Banchero could be the third.
Staying hungry makes for the fiercest of predators.
It's all about having that winning mentality and learning how to stay hungry from legends like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. It takes more than blood and sweat to achieve greatness. Consistency and the ability to not let yourself get marred by constant pressure are paramount.
Jordan is a true example of showcasing how enriching being obsessed with your dreams can be for you. Young rookies like Banchero must learn and progress with this art for a long time.
The Magic have been in draft lottery hell, never having a top pick and selecting players with upside who never turned out to be franchise cornerstones - Hezonja, Isaac, Bamba, Okeke, and Suggs have all underwhelmed. In Banchero, they have their foundational piece, and in Franz Wagner, a great second or third fiddle. After a long, long time, there's reason to be optimistic as an Orlando Magic fan.