Polished frontcourt scorer with the frame, talent with the ball, and three-level scoring ability to grow into an offensive building block at the NBA level.
About Paolo Banchero
Paolo Banchero is a talented offensive player whose ability to create his own shot shined as the focal point of an explosive Duke offense. An early bloomer, he has a strong athletic pedigree–his mother, Rhonda, was a third-round selection in the 2000 WNBA Draft. Establishing himself as a prospect in middle school, Banchero was considered a top-5 prospect throughout his prep career at O’Dea High School (WA) and capped his prep career with McDonald’s All-American honors.
While he did not appear in a single game as a senior due to the pandemic displacing his season, his improvement in the year leading up to his lone collegiate season was immediately apparent at Duke as he emerged as one of the more dynamic offensive weapons in the country regardless of class. Averaging 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 3.2 assists over 33 minutes per game, Banchero led the Blue Devils to a Final Four appearance in Mike Krzyzewski’s final season at the helm and captured Consensus second-team All-American honors in the process.
• Listed at 6-foot-10 in shoes with a 250-pound frame to go along with a 7-foot-1 wingspan, Banchero has NBA-ready physical tools and is a strong athlete who plays above the rim with two hands on the move.
• Serving as the clear first option of a talented young Duke team, Banchero’s tools and physicality factored prominently into his production as he created his own shot prolifically from the perimeter and the post. An aggressive scorer with an impressive combination of strength, footwork, and ball handling ability, the Seattle native was effective inside but was productive from all three levels as he made shots with solid consistency from the midrange when he couldn’t turn the corner. Displaying the ability to drive and kick, emerging as an improved spot up threat, and making some effort plays staying active off the ball, Banchero is an instinctive, well-rounded scorer with a polished floor game for a 19-year-old.
• Possessing the tools to hold his own defending one-on-one and use verticality to chip in as a rim protector, Banchero nonetheless has room to be more physical as a rebounder and consistent all-around defender.
• Banchero enjoyed unique freedom on the offensive end in his lone collegiate season as his ability to exploit match ups with his size, athleticism, and talent with the ball was a staple of Duke’s half court sets. He displayed great footwork and body control while attacking the rim from the perimeter with either hand to maneuver past and spin around defenders in the post. While his aggressiveness played against him at times on forced drives and the resulting contested layups or spinning midrange jumpers, he nonetheless averaged 0.83 points per isolation possession [59th percentile] and 0.93 points per post up possession [72nd percentile] while proving to be one of the most imposing individual matchups in college basketball.
• Staying active off the ball, crashing the glass, pushing in transition, and driving closeouts, Banchero got the basket in a variety of ways last season but consistently attacks the rim with force. Able to power up and play above the rim impressively off two feet but leaning on his ability to get to his right hand to finish in traffic, he averaged 1.33 points per shot around the rim [81st percentile].
• Making key strides as a shooter as a high school senior, Banchero’s improved consistency in midrange spots made him more potent when he could not turn the corner off the dribble and the clear leap he took as a set shooter allowed him to be more opportunistic when playing off the ball on the perimeter. Though almost half of his jumpers came inside the arc, he averaged 0.98 points per jump shot [75th percentile] with his accuracy and the trajectory of his range as a shooter leaving room for optimism projecting to the next level.
• Bringing a lot to the table as a frontcourt scoring option, Banchero impacted the game in other ways more consistently as the year wore on as well.
• Holding his own as an individual defender allowing 0.54 points per one-on-one possession [89th percentile] last season, Banchero’s combination of size and athleticism stood out at times when containing the ball on the perimeter and challenging shots inside.
• Showing some timing and instincts to make plays on occasion, Banchero still has room to become a more consistent contributor on the defensive end as he remains early in his development as a defensive rebounder and off-ball defender.
— Profile by Synergy Sports