Paolo Banchero rubbing eyes

Jun 23, 2022; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Paolo Banchero (Duke) reacts after being selected as the number one overall pick by the Orlando Magic in the first round of the 2022 NBA Draft at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

  • The Orlando Magic select forward Paolo Banchero with the first pick in 2023 NBA Draft
  • Orlando entered the draft as one of four teams with +100000 odds of winning the 2023 NBA Championship
  • See the updated title odds during the NBA Draft

To those calling this draft as chalk as it gets — how’s that for a twist?

The 2023 NBA Draft kicked off Thursday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, and the Orlando Magic did the unexpected, veering off of talented big man Jabari Smith and taking Paolo Banchero with the first overall pick.

Was it a needle mover when it comes to the 2023 NBA Championship odds?

Even with a potential cornerstone pick to go with a handful of top-shelf draft talent over the last few years, the short answer is no.

2023 NBA Championship Odds

Team Odds
Golden State Warriors +500
Brooklyn Nets +600
Boston Celtics +600
Milwaukee Bucks +750
Phoenix Suns +800
LA Clippers +800
Miami Heat +1400
Philadelphia 76ers +1600
Memphis Grizzlies +1600
Dallas Mavericks +1600
Denver Nuggets +2200
LA Lakers +2200
Utah Jazz +5000
Chicago Bulls +6000
New Orleans Pelicans +6000
Atlanta Hawks +6000
Minnesota Timberwolves +6000
Toronto Raptors +6000
Cleveland Cavaliers +8000
Portland Trail Blazers +12500
Charlotte Hornets +12500
New York Knicks +15000
San Antonio Spurs +25000
Washington Wizards +50000
Detroit Pistons +75000
Indiana Pacers +75000
Orlando Magic +100000
Sacramento Kings +100000
Houston Rockets +100000
OKC Thunder +100000

Odds as of June 23 at Caesars Sportsbook.

In fact, Orlando opened Thursday as one of four teams with the worst odds to win the title. They were joined by the SacTo Kings, Houston Rockets and OKC Thunder at far-out +100000 title odds.

Magic Take Banchero No. 1

Banchero cut his teeth in the Mike Krzyzewski’s ecosystem at Duke, and the 6-foot-10, 250-pounder put in work, leading the Blue Devils to the Final Four.

In his lone college campaign, he averaged 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 39 games this season.

Banchero can shoot, but he’s more a power player inside, who can feast in the pick and roll game. He’s a quick leaper, and should be a major contributor on the offensive glass.

Like most young players, his offense is miles ahead in his defense. If he can up that part of his game, he should be a major cog on an up-and-coming Magic roster. The lineup that consists of 2017 No . 1 pick Markelle Fultz, lottery picks from the 2021 draft in Fran Wagner and Jalen Suggs (both top-8 selections), as well as 2020 first-rounder Cole Anthony.

Magic Worthy of a Wager?

Even the biggest Banchero fan must concede that his superstardom is still very much a roll of the dice. He’s talented, but not the consensus top pick, like Anthony Davis or even Orlando’s last top pick, Dwight Howard.

The projection to be great should be there, though, as Banchero opened as the betting favorite, in the 2023 Rookie of the Year odds.

The Magic are on the right path, but no player, not even Giannis, Stephen Curry or LeBron, could vault them to title contender, let alone the top pick in the draft.

Plus, the East is stacked: Milwaukee, Miami, Boston and Brooklyn are all title-contending clubs, with Philly, Chicago and Toronto resting in that next tier, and other teams like Cleveland and Charlotte on the come-up.

Orlando is a year away from being a few years away, but Banchero could ever-so-slightly accelerate the process. Landing a play-in spot would be a monster year for them.

Author Image

Eric Rosales

Sports Writer & Editor


Source link