ORLANDO – Orlando Magic forward Paolo Banchero has been named the Kia NBA’s Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for March/April 2023. It is the fourth straight time that he has earned the league’s monthly honor.
Banchero joins Shaquille O’Neal as the only players in franchise history to be named the league’s Rookie of the Month in four consecutive months. O’Neal did it four straight times from November 1992-February 1993.
Banchero (6’10”, 255, 11/12/02) played and started in 17 games during March/April, averaging 20.3 ppg., 7.8 rpg. and 4.2 apg. in 33.9 minpg., while shooting .387 (24-62) from three-point range. He led all NBA rookies in scoring, while ranking second in minutes played and fourth in both rebounding and in assists. Banchero scored 20+ points 10 times and 30+ points twice (both best among NBA rookies), while recording four double-doubles.
Selected in the first round (first overall) of the 2022 NBA Draft, Banchero has played and started in 72 games this season with Orlando, averaging a team-high 20.0 ppg., 6.9 rpg. and 3.7 apg. in 33.7 minpg. He ranked among all NBA leaders in minutes played (T-37th) and rebounding (T-38th). Banchero led all NBA rookies in scoring and minutes played, while also ranking among leaders in rebounding (5th), assists (3rd), free throw percentage (7th), steals (4th) and blocked shots (7th). He scored 20+ points 40 times and 30+ points six times this season, the most by any NBA rookie.
Banchero became only the sixth NBA rookie during the last 50 seasons (since 1973-74) to average 20+ ppg., 6+ rpg. and 3+ apg. (minimum 50 games).