6:56pm: Wojnarowski (Twitter link) now classifies Banchero as the frontrunner to be the No. 1 pick.
6:48pm: Duke forward Paolo Banchero remains “very much” in the mix for the No. 1 overall pick, Adrian Wojnarowski said on ESPN’s draft broadcast. Wojnarowski has since reported on Twitter that Banchero has emerged as a “significant possibility” to be drafted first overall (Twitter links).
The Magic are expected to select either Auburn’s Jabari Smith or Banchero, according to Wojnarowski, who says there’s a “real chance” teams’ draft boards could be blown up.
Virtually all reporting leading up to draft night has had Smith as the favorite to go first overall, with ESPN’s Jonathan Givony suggesting earlier this week that it would be a major surprise to most teams around the NBA if Smith isn’t Orlando’s pick.
As we relayed earlier today, oddsmakers around the country briefly made Banchero the betting favorite to be the No. 1 pick late last night, but those odds shifted back strongly in Smith’s favor after Wojnarowski reported this morning that the top three – with Smith to Orlando, Chet Holmgren to the Thunder, and Banchero to the Rockets – looked “increasingly firm.”