If Houston stays at No. 3 overall in the primary round of the 2022 NBA draft, probably the most common projection to the Rockets at that spot is Duke forward Paolo Banchero. Should things play out in accordance with forecast on the June 23 draft night, the addition might need immediate implications.
Per NBA insider Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, executives and scouts across the league are bullish on what Banchero could do as a rookie. Scotto issued his comments as a part of HoopsHype’s aggregate mock draft, where Banchero is currently projected to the Rockets.
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“Paolo might be at the highest of that big three for me because he’s probably the most conservative pick, and he’s consistent,” one NBA executive told HoopsHype following the draft lottery. “I like him in playoff-type situations. He has the power to make others around him higher.”
Based on Banchero’s lofty draft status, he’s extremely unlikely (barring a trade) to search out an instantaneous playoff fit — since teams picking high within the first-round order were inherently bad previously season. Thus, it’ll be as much as him to assist elevate his latest team to such a level.
In response to Scotto, two NBA executives compared Banchero’s upside to what Recent York’s Julius Randle was during his 2020-21 All-Star season.
“Paolo gives you probably the most complete player coming in,” a scout added.
Banchero might be the best Italian chosen since Andrea Bargnani went No. 1 overall within the 2006 draft. If he is chosen by the Rockets, Scotto says it could make big man Christian Wood a possible trade candidate.
Story: NBA executives shared their comparisons for the highest prospects. Is Chet Holmgren the following Kristaps Porzingis, Karl-Anthony Towns or Anthony Davis? More comparisons for Jabari Smith, Paolo Banchero, and reporting in our @hoopshype aggregate mock draft https://t.co/ZlHc17MJv4
— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) May 21, 2022
2022 NBA mock drafts: Houston Rockets post-lottery pick projections