Orlando’s first No. 1 overall pick since 2004, Banchero came out ready to play as he and the Magic took on No. 3 overall pick Jabari Smith and the Houston Rockets to start NBA 2K23 Summer League in Las Vegas.
From the jump, Banchero was seemingly out to prove his top-pick status and did so with all manner of shots as the Magic won 91-77.
He opened things up with a 3-pointer from the right wing and, from there, went into the full repertoire: fadeaways in the post, dribble-drive floaters, a foul-line and-1 jumper and more.
All in all, Banchero had 17 points, four rebounds and six assists, delivering some precise reads against the Rockets defense.
Equally impressive was Banchero’s footwork, using reverse pivots and spins away from the defense to get several of his shots.
As for Smith, he had a somewhat quiet night (10 points, seven rebounds, three assists) but had some nice drives to the basket and played solid team defense, matching up occasionally with Banchero.
Of course, with all things Summer League, it’s worth noting how quickly fortunes and performances can change — as Chet Holmgren, the No. 2 overall pick, can attest.
But, there’s no doubt Banchero got off to a positive start in his first Summer League.