Orlando Magic forward Paolo Banchero on Tuesday was named the 2022-23 NBA Rookie of the Year, becoming the first No. 1 pick to win the award since Ben Simmons in 2018.
Banchero received 98 out of 100 first-place votes from a global panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. He finished with 494 total points in the final voting, topping the 241 points that Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jalen Williams received.
Utah Jazz center Walker Kessler finished third with 114 points.
Banchero was viewed as the front-runner to win after averaging 20 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists in 72 games. He led the rookie class in a number of categories, including scoring, field goals per game (6.7), free throws (5.5) and 30-point games (6).
The 20-year-old became the third rookie in team history to be honored as Rookie of the Year, joining Shaquille O’Neal (1992-93) and his agent, Mike Miller (2000-01). He is just the sixth rookie in the last 50 seasons to average at least 20 points, six rebounds and three assists.
Banchero kicked off his rookie campaign with a historic start.
He became the third No. 1 pick since the 1969-70 season to record at least 25 points, five rebounds and five assists in a debut, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and LeBron James. He had the most 20-point games to start a career since Grant Hill during the 1994-95 season (6).
Banchero continued that success throughout the year, producing 40 20-point games, which were the ninth-most by a rookie age 20 or younger. He was then named the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month four times, tying O’Neal for the most in team history.
In all, the former Duke All-American finished with one of the most productive rookie campaigns in recent memory and was rewarded accordingly. He established himself as the top first-year player and projects to be a franchise cornerstone for years to come.
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Story originally appeared on Rookie Wire
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Author : Rookie Wire
Publish date : 2023-04-25 23:19:48
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