NBA top executives and their scout departments have been putting out their big panels for the greatest players in recent months. No two boards are similar, and the names Jabari Smith Jr., Chet Holmgren, and Paolo Banchero are virtually always at the top of them. One of the main reasons for this is that they’re all huge men. Smith, Holmgren, and Banchero are all 6-10 inches taller than the rest of the team. It’s unusual to have three players of this caliber in the discussion with none of them being a guard or conventional wing/small forward.
The Orlando Magic are both privileged and doomed as a result of this. Even if the team’s first pick comes out to be quite excellent, one or both of the other two players could end up being superior players. Oklahoma City and Houston are comfortable with their current positions. Beginning with Orlando’s initial choice, there’s a lot of variation and a lot of established commodities present. What’s at risk here is a franchise cornerstone and a super-max player on his second deal. Orlando must decide if Smith, Holmgren, or Banchero is the best fit for all of those qualities. This team sorely needs a player who can alter its direction in the same manner that Shaquille O’Neal and Dwight Howard did as they were chosen first overall by the Magic in 1992 and 2004, accordingly.
Orlando has a difficult task ahead of him. The possibility of hitting on all three of these players appears to be great, but history shows differently. It’s a lot to handle for a team that hasn’t clinched a playoff game since 2010.
Smith has proven to be a top talent in this selection, despite his background. He produced 16.9 points per game for Auburn during one season, helping the Tigers to a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. He also dominated the roster among seasoned players with a 42 percent 3-point hit rate, identifying himself as one of the top strikers, not just at his place but across all areas.
Holmgren is seen to have the greatest difference between his floor and ceiling among the players in contention for a top-five pick. Despite his strong rookie season at Gonzaga, he remains an enigma in various aspects since there is no blueprint to draw on. Holmgren’s failure to continually lift his game against the strongest competition he encountered last season would prompt Orlando to reconsider choosing him first.
Banchero is one who matches a franchise’s mentality and can take all of the responsibility, potential, and diversion that comes from having a 1 next to their name. No one else in the 2022 class compares to Banchero in this regard, at least from the perspective of being in the limelight and reaching this point. He’s been considered the greatest talent more than Smith, Holmgren, Ivey, or anyone in the draft.