The Orlando Magic plumped for Paulo Banchero with the first pick in the NBA Draft.

He was closely followed by Chet Holmgren going to the Oklahoma City Thunder and Jabari Smith going to the Houston Rockets.

The top three were locked in and Banchero, who didn’t work out with Orlando, was selected after a standout season with Duke ahead of the other two players.

Banchero joins a young team in Orlando that already includes 2017 top pick Markelle Fultz, a pair of top-eight picks from the 2021 draft in Franz Wagner and Jalen Suggs, and Cole Anthony, the No 15 pick in 2020.

Orlando also has the No 6 picks from the 2017 and 2018 draft, Jonathan Isaac and Mo Bamba. It’s possible that when next season starts Orlando could have as many as six lottery picks, nine top-16 selections and 12 first-rounders on its roster.

The Magic had earlier on Thursday done a deal with the Los Angeles, trading the No 35 pick for a future second round pick and cash, but still retains the No 32 pick.

Thursday night was the fourth time that Orlando made the first pick. The Magic took Shaquille O’Neal with the top selection in 1992. Chris Webber was the No 1 pick by Orlando in 1993, and he got traded that same night for Penny Hardaway and a package of future picks that were eventually turned into Vince Carter and, later, Miller. And in 2004, the Magic selected Dwight Howard with the first pick.

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If Banchero can pan out anywhere near as successful as those other names, then the franchise will have made a very good selection.

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