The Orlando Magic hope to have their next franchise-altering star in Paolo Banchero after they used the 1st overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft on him. The last two times the Magic had the 1st pick, they drafted generational big-men that led them all the way to the NBA Finals in Shaquille O'Neal and Dwight Howard.
Banchero is one of the most exciting prospects, but he has to continue developing his game to transition from playing for Duke to playing in the NBA. Summer League is the perfect place for rookies to get professional experience. Banchero is working hard for the Magic in Las Vegas and will take that energy with him into the season.
Banchero openly discussed the parameters of a successful rookie season in an interview and revealed that he is eyeing a playoff debut this season in a big to make the Magic instantly competitive with him on the squad. He did try recruiting Kevin Durant, so Banchero isn't wasting time when it comes to winning.
"If I affect the Magic in a winning way and we have a much better season than last year. Hopefully, we get in the playoffs. That's the goal and that'll be a success. Personally, I'm just going to do what I do. Being a great teammate and performing how I know I can. I want to be a winner and a guy that people love to watch play and play with."
The playoffs may be a step too far for the Magic with their extremely young core. However, the Magic have talented guards who can be excellent feeders to the likes of Banchero and Wendell Carter Jr.
Paolo is setting a good bar of success for himself at the start of the season. This should bode well for his preparation going into the season. However, no rookie can be prepared for their 'Welcome to the NBA' moment outside the court, so maybe that experience will simmer Banchero down and he'll go with the timelines everyone assumes the Magic to be on. A playoff appearance one year into their rebuild might be a challenge, but an extremely worthy one for this young group.