Paul Banchero’s night: Houston on the launch pad

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Duke’s big wing could be named with the third overall pick.

The rumors are incessant. The signs, from what could be the franchise that will pick him at the 2022 NBA Draft — scheduled for Thursday night and Friday in Italy — have already arrived. The Houston Rockets, credited as the team that could sign Paolo Banchero, have already let go of Christian Wood, someone who would theoretically take away space from the new Italian basketball talent.

With the first overall pick in the hands of the Orlando Magic – who should choose Jabari Smith – and the second prerogative of Oklahoma City – who should name Chet Holmgren – the Texan franchise should designate just the 2002 class as its draft pick. The interested party, in recent days, has shown himself confident of his chances and confident of embarking, as a protagonist, on his path in the most fascinating league in the world.

The lineup of Italian basketball players chosen at the NBA Draft includes some illustrious names: Dino Meneghin, Augusto Binelli, Riccardo Morandotti, Stefano Rusconi, Andrea Bargnani (first overall call-up), Marco Belinelli, Danilo Gallinari, Alessandro Gentile and, last but not least, Nico Mannion, in 2020. Among them, Meneghin, Binelli, Morandotti, and Gentile have never competed with any NBA team.

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