Create

"When you look at Paolo’s body, he has a Karl Malone body … He’s built like that at 19" - Marc J. Spears compares Paolo Banchero to Zion Williamson and Nikola Jokic

Paolo Banchero has gotten rave reviews following his electric performance in the NBA Summer League.
Paolo Banchero has gotten rave reviews following his electric performance in the NBA Summer League.
Michael Macasero

The NBA eagerly anticipated Paolo Banchero's Summer League debut after he was drafted as the No. 1 pick by the Orlando Magic. Orlando made a stunning move on draft day by getting the Duke player over Auburn standout Jabari Smith.

In just two games at the Thomas and Mack Center, Banchero showed why the Magic made the right decision to acquire him.

ESPN senior NBA writer Marc J. Spears had some glittering words for the do-it-all forward from Las Vegas. Here’s Spears gushing over Banchero’s two-game performance in the Summer League on "The Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective" podcast:

"Paolo Banchero is the real deal. When you look at Paolo’s body, he has a Karl Malone body … He’s built like that at 19. The way he’s played from the moment he stepped in, he’s played like a bully.
"He reminds me of like, even though there was a small sample size for Zion, that little bit of sample size in Summer League, he bullied everybody. And that’s what Banchero is doing."
Paolo Banchero today:23 Points6 Rebounds6 Assists 4 Steals2 Blocks https://t.co/US1zt9zwDC

Spears didn’t want to get ahead of himself, but he could not emphasize well enough how NBA-ready Banchero is. It wasn't just his build, but the way he used it with his diverse skills that impressed those who saw him play.

Being compared to Karl Malone and Zion Williamson is big. The former is one of the best power forwards to ever play, while the latter is a dominating freak of nature.

Spears made an even more intriguing comparison:

"The big surprise is he’s an amazing passer, a Joker-level passer. I know that’s saying a lot, that’s a very high bar, but he passes on that level.
"I just really think that body-wise, mentality-wise, he’s gonna be ready to make an impact from day one of the season."
Paolo Banchero Summer League debut:17 PTS4 REB6 AST2-3 3PHe was +20 in 25 minutes. https://t.co/zKtOmNWDra

The “Joker” is no less than two-time and back-to-back NBA MVP Nikola Jokic, whose passing and vision have caused rival teams headaches.

If Banchero can produce offensively like the Serbian superstar, then the Orlando Magic have the right man.


How will the Orlando Magic potentially use Paolo Banchero?

Paolo Banchero is looking like exactly what the doctor ordered for the Orlando Magic.
Paolo Banchero is looking like exactly what the doctor ordered for the Orlando Magic.

The Orlando Magic will inevitably make Paolo Banchero their franchise player. For that reason, the rookie should be starting every game unless injured.

Banchero’s versatility will give coach Jamahl Mosley several options with his lineup. Last season, Mosley preferred to use a three-big lineup, which had Cole Anthony and Jalen Suggs on the perimeter. Banchero could start at power forward alongside Wendell Carter Jr. as the center.

The Magic have seen enough.Paolo Banchero has been shut down for the rest of the summer league. https://t.co/jAVsEdVJFP

Franz Wagner, who was a pleasant surprise last season as a rookie, Suggs and Anthony will round out the starting unit.

It’s a group that has great athleticism, decent shooting and plenty of energy. Banchero’s do-it-all talent could make the group a nasty opponent for any team.


Edited by Rachel Syiemlieh

Comments

Quick Links

More from Sportskeeda
Fetching more content...