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Magic's Paolo Banchero wins NBA's Rookie of the Year award


Orlando Magic forward Paolo Bancherohas been named the NBA's 2022-23 Rookie of the Year and therecipient of the Wilt Chamberlain Trophy.

Banchero was widely regarded as a lockfor this award, prompting numerous sportsbooks to removeRookie-of-the-Year odds midseason.

Banchero received 98 first-place votesand 494 total voting points. Oklahoma City Thunder guard JalenWilliams was the runner-up, receiving 241 total voting points(although he received zero first-place votes).

Utah Jazz center Walker Kesslersurprisingly received two first-place votes, but just 114 totalvoting points. Indiana Pacers guard Bennedict Mathurin (27 votingpoints), Sacramento Kings forward Keegan Murray (21 voting points)and Detroit Pistons guard Jaden Ivey (3 voting points) alsoreceived votes.

This season, Banchero averaged 20.0 points, 6.9 rebounds, 3.7assists, 1.2 threes and 0.8 steals, while shooting 42.7% from thefield, 29.8% from three-point range and 73.8% from the free-throwline.

Orlando ran its offense through Banchero, and the 20-year-oldproved that he has what it takes to be a No. 1 option. Throughoutthe season, Banchero displayed his ability to create for himselfand others.

Banchero led all rookies in points, while also ranking third inassists, fourth in steals and fifth in rebounds. He posted 40 gamesof 20+ points and six games of 30+ points – the second-most by aMagic rookie.

The No. 1 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft won four consecutive Rookieof the Month awards during the season, earning the honor inDecember, January, February and March.

Banchero is Orlando's third Rookie-of-the-Year recipient,joining Shaquille O'Neal and Mike Miller (who is Banchero'sagent).

Paolo Banchero's 2022-23 Kia NBA Rookie ofthe Year mixtape 📹#KiaROY| #NBAAwards | @Kia

— NBA (@NBA) April 25, 2023

Banchero had a number of dominant performances throughout hisrookie campaign.

On Nov. 5, he had a 33-point, 16-rebound performance against theSacramento Kings – becoming just the second teenager in NBA historyto record at least 30 points and 15 rebounds in a game, joiningLeBron James. After scoring 30 points in the following game againstthe Houston Rockets on Nov. 7, he became just the fifth teenager inNBA history with back-to-back 30-point outings, joining LeBron,Luka Doncic, Zion Williamson and Devin Booker. On March 31,Banchero turned heads with 30 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists and 3blocks in a win over the Washington Wizards.

While Banchero's efficiency dipped at times during the season,his dominant start to the campaign and strong finish helped himlock up the award. Over his final 17 games of the season, Bancheroaveraged 20.3 points, 7.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists on 53.4% TrueShooting.

Entering this season, Orlando had the fourth-youngest roster inthe NBA (with an average age of 23.94 years old). Banchero andFranz Wagner have emerged as franchise cornerstones that the Magiccan build around going forward. The Magic also have plenty oftalented pieces surrounding their dynamic duo, including WendellCarter Jr., Markelle Fultz, Jonathan Isaac, Cole Anthony, JalenSuggs and Bol Bol.

The Magic will have a chance to add to their impressive youngcore, as they have the sixth-best odds in the 2023 NBA DraftLottery (with a 9% chance of landing the No. 1 pick). Orlando willalso receive the Chicago Bulls' lottery pick, unless it lands inthe top-four. Chicago has the 11th-best lottery odds.

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