1. Detroit Pistons — Paolo Banchero, F, Duke
NBA Comparison: Chris Webber, Blake Griffin
While it’s not yet a foregone conclusion, it’s difficult to envision anybody but Duke’s Paolo Banchero being the No. 1 overall pick in next year’s draft. With the way he’s played to begin the year, Banchero projects to be an offensive superstar. He’s answered all questions about potential flaws in his game. Though he’s not a knockdown shooter quite yet, Banchero is shooting 33-percent from beyond the arc on over three attempts per game. He’s also 80-percent from the foul line, signaling that he could improve as an outside shooter.
The NBA is all about matching skill with size, and the 6-foot-10, 250-pound Banchero has both in spades. Plus, he’s already shown the willingness to step up in big games after a huge performance in Duke’s win over Gonzaga earlier this year. A Banchero-Cunningham pairing would have Detroit back on the map in no time.
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