Duke's Paolo Banchero lands in top spot on latest NBA mock draft
The 2022 NBA Draft is still months away, but Duke forward Paolo Banchero is amongst the candidates to go No. 1 overall when the time comes.
Banchero is in the top spot in The Athletic’s 2022 mock draft, which was released earlier this week. Banchero beat out Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren and Memphis’ Jalen Duren for the honor.
Here’s an excerpt of analysis from The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie:
“The 6-foot-10 forward has morphed over the last year into a genuine shot creator as a four-man. He’s developed his game off the bounce to where he can get into a stepback series. He’s a mismatch nightmare offensively because of that fluidity and coordination as well as his overall strength level at somewhere between 240 and 250 pounds. He can legitimately take guards and wings onto the block and score over the top with ease, meaning you can’t switch him without getting hurt.”
Banchero comes to Duke by way of O Dea High School in Seattle. He’s listed at 6-foot-10, 250 pounds.
He was the No. 2 overall player in the class of 2022, according to 247Sports Composite rankings. Holmgren grabbed the top spot in the recruiting rankings.
Duke’s 2021 recruiting class is also supported by fellow 5-stars AJ Griffin and Trevor Keels. Griffin is listed at No. 7 in The Athletic’s NBA mock draft.
Blue Devils center Mark Williams also made Vecenie’s first-round mock, landing at No. 21 overall.
Duke opens its 2021-22 campaign against Kentucky on Nov. 9.