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2022 NBA Draft Preview: The Blue Chip Prospects | SLAM

2022 NBA Draft Preview: The Blue Chip Prospects | SLAM

It’s about that time of the year. In just a few hours, hoopers from all across the country will soon turn their dreams intro a reality at the 2022 NBA draft. This year’s daft class is stacked with big names, NCAA champions and even a SLAM cover star.

Leading up to tonight’s festivities, we’re taking a look at the  “who’s who” of the 2022 NBA Draft class, specifically the blue chip prospects. Let’s get it.

Paolo Banchero

Immediately following Paolo Banchero’s first game at Duke —a 22-point, seven-rebound performance against then-No. 10 Kentucky—it was clear the consensus five-star recruit was destined for stardom. Not every player can live up to the expectations of being Duke’s next star, but Banchero did so easily.

While Duke was the biggest stage the 19-year-old’s played on thus far, he’s never shied away from the spotlight.

He finished his one-and-done year at Duke, averaging 17 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game on 47.7 percent shooting from the field, leading the Blue Devils to the Final Four. The 2021-22 ACC Rookie of the Year scored at least 17 points and played at least 33 minutes in all five of Duke’s NCAA Tournament games.

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Banchero’s a well-rounded player with good size (6-10, 250 lb. frame) that can do a bit of everything. With a mix of post moves and faceup versatility, Banchero is arguably the best shot creator in the class. He possesses excellent body control and uses his frame to fend off defenders before bursting with an explosive spin move or up-and-under when attacking off the bounce.

Banchero is also an unselfish playmaker. Since he often draws double teams, Banchero has no problem trusting his teammates and kicking the ball out to the open man. In college, he showed comfortability with having an…

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