Paolo Banchero ‘checks all the boxes’ and feels like the ‘best overall player’ in the draft

2022-05-18T10:28:36+00:00 2022-05-18T10:28:36+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

18/May/22 10:28

Promising upstart Paolo Banchero likes his chances of becoming the top pick of the next NBA draft

By Johnny Askounis/

Following the NBA draft lottery setting the full 2022 draft order, Italian-American Paolo Banchero talked to ESPN’s NBA Countdown about what he is ready to offer to any team picking him up on 23 June.

“I feel like I’m the no.1 pick in the draft just because I’m the best overall player,” claimed the former Duke standout, “I feel like I check all the boxes. Whether that is being a great teammate, being able to be a star player, or doing whatever the coach needs. I’ve been aware my whole life. When I get to the NBA, that is going to be the same goal for me. Just combining all those things and knowing what I have to work on to be better is the formula for me.”

Banchero, 19, averaged 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.1 steals, and 0.9 blocks per NCAA game. In the final season under head coach Mike Krzyzewski, the Blue Devils reached the Final Four but lost to rival North Carolina in the Semifinals. “The main thing I really took away from him was that no matter the situation you’re in, always present yourself in a strong way, no matter the fatigue, just be ready for the next play”, he noted regarding working with the legendary tactician.

Moving on from the lone season in the NCAA, the 2022 NBA draft at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center will decide his first team at the professional level.

“From day one, they’ll get versatility for sure,” he previewed his transition to the NBA and what he brings to the table, “There’s not a position on the court where I’m not comfortable, with the ball in my hands or the ball off my hands. I’m going to be alright. I’m going to be an immediate impact because I’m ready physically and I’m ready mentally. I am ready to get to work.”

“There are a lot of guys. Obviously, there is a couple that I really try to take things away from,” he added replying to a question on modeling his game off established NBA stars, “LeBron [James], Jayson Tatum, Giannis [Antetokounmpo], Carmelo [Anthony]. Guys who got similar physical build. But I also feel like I am unique in my own ways. I take parts from all of their games and try to put them into mine. I couldn’t give you one player but I am definitely inspired by some of those guys.”

Photo Credit: YouTube