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Why the Magic have been snug drafting Paolo Banchero even with him not viewing Orlando


Jeff Weltman had a level to make.

The issue wasn’t defending the Magic’s selecting of Paolo Banchero at No. 1 in very last Thursday’s NBA draft.

That wasn’t required. Banchero entered the draft viewed as a leading-3 prospect. Most well-highly regarded media mock draft boards had him getting drafted at No. 3 by the Houston Rockets, who wound up with Jabari Smith Jr. — the prospect most mock drafts had likely No. 1.

Rather, the issue the Magic’s president of basketball operations was making an attempt to make very clear was that they experienced the requisite data to sense much more than comfortable drafting Banchero regardless of him not coming to Orlando for a pre-draft exercise.

“I know there’s a great deal becoming built ideal now that Paolo did not arrive in to go to,” Weltman said to reporters in his opening opinions Thursday. “I want to let everybody know we have experienced many contact points. There is a ton of system that goes into the draft. There’s a large amount of magic formula-holding and misdirection.”

A part of that misdirection was the Magic not commenting on regardless of whether they experienced a pre-draft visit with Banchero top up to the draft. Orlando’s secrecy during the draft method could lead to extended-term gains.

The Magic’s basketball operations may perhaps not have gotten a formal go to in Orlando with Banchero, but they didn’t lack intel.

They had 39 college basketball game titles Banchero played in for Duke to scout. It doesn’t get extended to see why he was a consensus next-group All-American and the Atlantic Coastline Convention Rookie of the Year.

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There had been a number of live and Zoom meetings with Banchero and continuous dialogue with his agent Mike Miller, the previous NBA participant the Magic drafted with the No. 5 select out of the University of Florida in 2000.

Weltman advised the Orlando Sentinel that the Magic put in time with Banchero throughout the NBA’s mid-May perhaps draft combine in Chicago.

Paolo submitted to all of the Magic’s pre-draft protocols, which includes medicals, temperament profiles and anything else Orlando desired, according to Weltman.

“We’ve observed Paolo so numerous instances,” Weltman explained to the Orlando Sentinel. “We’ve had so numerous touch points with him. We received to expend a great deal of time with him in distinctive sides. We bought all of the facts factors we requested him to supply for us. We experienced all the things we essential to experience we’re making a nicely-rounded final decision.”

The Magic did not lock them selves in on Banchero early, according to Weltman.

They labored out quite a few prospects leading into the draft, such as Chet Holmgren, Keegan Murray, Jaden Ivey and Smith. Orlando in the end drafted whom Weltman referred to as “the very best player in higher education basketball.”

It is not abnormal for Orlando to not host a long run draft decide on for a pre-draft training. Jalen Suggs, the No. 5 choose in the 2021 draft, didn’t work out for the Magic final summer months.

Why Banchero didn’t perform out for the Magic in Orlando could not be acknowledged by outsiders, but what was also regarded by Weltman was that Banchero wished to be a portion of what they are constructing with mentor Jamahl Mosley.

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“Paolo’s often expressed a terrific curiosity in us and he’s talked with us at size — myself, coach Mosley and different employees associates,” Weltman mentioned. “We have been super comfortable with the procedure, and most importantly, thrilled to have him on the crew.”

This report 1st appeared on OrlandoSentinel.com. E mail Khobi Price at khprice@orlandosentinel.com or abide by him on Twitter at @khobi_price tag.

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