Orlando Magic's Paolo Banchero Takes NBA By Storm, Wins Rookie of The Year With Impressive Stats

Photo: Instagram/Paolo Banchero

Paolo Banchero, the first pick in last year's NBA draft, has been named Rookie of the Year after receiving an impressive 98 out of 100 first-place votes.

He dominated the award thanks to his excellent performance this season, averaging 20 points per game and helping the Orlando Magic improve from 22 to 34 wins, putting them in contention for a play-in berth.

Banchero had 15 games of at least 25 points and 40 games of at least 20 points, both of which were the most among rookies this season. He also won rookie of the month four times, further indicating his dominance.

Photo: Instagram/Paolo Banchero crowned Rookie of the Year in his debut season.

Banchero becomes the third player in Magic history to win Rookie of the Year, following Shaquille O'Neal in 1993 and Mike Miller in 2001.

During the announcement, Banchero recalled a conversation he had with Miller on draft night, where Miller asked if he would be Rookie of the Year, to which Banchero confidently replied "yes."

The runner-up for the award was Jalen Williams of the Oklahoma City Thunder, while Walker Kessler of the Utah Jazz was third.

Banchero is the first No. 1 overall pick to win the award in the season immediately after being drafted since Karl-Anthony Towns in 2016, and Ben Simmons won it two years after being selected first.

Magic coach Jamahl Mosley praised Banchero's on-court maturity and willingness to play the right way, adding that the team wants him to focus on specific areas for improvement over the offseason.

In his rookie diary for The Associated Press, Banchero revealed his desire to be more consistent and dangerous from 3-point range in the coming season, along with improving his overall fitness level.

Banchero is the sixth player to receive one of the NBA's top individual awards this season, joining the likes of Jaren Jackson Jr., De'Aaron Fox, and Mike Brown.

The MVP award is still pending, with finalists including Nikola Jokic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Joel Embiid. The All-NBA, All-Rookie, and All-Defensive teams have yet to be revealed as well.

Read Next: Utah Jazz Forward Lauri Markkanen Named 2022-23 Kia NBA Most Improved Player In Breakout Season

Source: Daily Mail


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