Wolves’ Anthony Edwards, Magic’s Paolo Banchero Are About to Take Over NBA

Wolves’ Anthony Edwards, Magic’s Paolo Banchero Are About to Take Over NBA
Wolves’ Anthony Edwards, Magic’s Paolo Banchero Are About to Take Over NBA

Wolves howl, and Magicians keep their lips sealed. Perhaps Orlando Magic star Paolo Banchero and Anthony Edwards of the Minnesota Timberwolves couldn’t have landed on teams with mascots more fitting for their personalities.

Edwards (22) and Banchero (21) have both been dominant in this year’s playoffs. However, Banchero’s quiet demeanor may overshadow the fact that, like Edwards, this postseason, Banchero’s game has begun to flirt with superstar status on the court despite being even younger.

Orlando and Minnesota are both small markets in the NBA. Unlike the Magic’s former No. 1 picks turned NBA stars Shaquille O’Neal and Dwight Howard before him, who had loud personalities attached to Superman capes, Banchero has no interest in generating buzz for his off-court personality.

Earlier this year, players like Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics made their case for why they should be considered as the next face of the NBA once LeBron James retires. When I asked Banchero if he believed he had that type of potential, he and Jalen Suggs broke out laughing at the question.

“I’m just tryna go out there, hoop, and be me,” Banchero said. “I’m not too concerned about all that talk. “I just go out there and do me.”

Now, as Banchero put up numbers only matched by LeBron when he was 21, there’s a legitimate argument to be made that he has LeBron-esque potential. The Magic’s No. 1 overall pick from 2022 is averaging over 25 points, seven rebounds, and four assists while shooting nearly 50 percent from the field and 40 percent from three this postseason, all while standing 6-10 and weighing 250 pounds.

Banchero is a monster on the court, but his persona isn’t big enough to land him national commercials, make him go viral every time he speaks, land him a signature shoe, or make him a movie star, unlike Edwards, who embraces the cameras.

Make no mistake about it, though, despite his reluctance toward the spotlight, Banchero’s production on the court screams that he should be getting just as much attention as Edwards off of it.

While Banchero recovers from the offseason, Edwards and the Wolves are competing to go up 2-0 against the defending champion Denver Nuggets.

Related stories on the Orlando Magic

  • GAME 7 LOSS NECESSARY FOR MAGIC’S GROWTH: The Orlando Magic’s season ended with their Game 7 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, but that could be exactly what they need to improve to become a contender. CLICK HERE
  • GAME 7 RECAP: The Orlando Magic’s season comes to an end after a Game 7 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2024 NBA Playoffs. CLICK HERE
  • MAGIC’S ASCENT BEGINS: The Orlando Magic have been eliminated from the 2024 NBA Playoffs, but they should be back for many years to come. CLICK HERE
 
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