Orlando Magic 2024 Fantasy Basketball Studs and Duds
Dud: Paolo Banchero
This is not meant to douse any rain on Paolo Banchero’s parade or his development and growth. This is not meant even to be shade.
It is just the reality that high-usage scorers like Banchero tend to be tough players to pick up on your fantasy teams. Grabbing players who struggle with efficiency means you are essentially giving up a category in those kinds of leagues.
Until Banchero proves he can be an effective and efficient scorer, he will get raw scoring numbers and get to the foul line a ton but will be a drain in other categories. Flipping this narrative is part of the deeper story for Banchero’s upcoming season.
Banchero can put up points, everyone knows that. He averaged 20.0 points per game and 7.4 free throw attempts per game last year. But he is still wildly inefficient, shooting 42.7 percent from the floor and 29.8 percent from beyond the arc. If you take out the 1-for-33 February from beyond the arc, he shot 33.3 percent from three.
Rookies are not expected to be very good or very efficient. They are still learning the league and learning how to play. A big part of the story for Banchero in his second season is to see if he can shoot more efficiently and effectively.
He will get plenty of opportunities too. The Magic are going to put the ball in his hands a lot and see how much he has learned.
The question is just how quickly he can reach the elite levels of other star forwards. It is not impossible for a player to take that kind of leap. But it is usually a fairly gradual process. It is not something that will happen immediately.
If you believe the Magic are going to make a giant step up, it is likely because you believe Banchero will become an All-Star fairly quickly and reach superstar levels. If you believe the team is due for a modest step forward, it is likely because Banchero will still struggle in this area and need some time to develop more.
To be sure, this is not a statement about Banchero’s overall value as a player. This is merely the last year Banchero will act like a young player. And soon he will be the kind of player everyone will want on their fantasy squads.