Orlando, FL – Orlando Magic forward Paolo Banchero has been named the Kia NBA’s Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for February 2023. It is the third 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 three 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 11 games during February, averaging 16.6 ppg., 7.5 rpg. and 3.3 apg. Orlando posted a 6-5 record, including 4-2 on the road. He led all East rookies (second among all rookies) in scoring and led all rookies in minutes played, while ranking third among East rookies (fourth among all rookies) in both rebounding and in assists. Banchero scored 20+ points three times and recorded three double-doubles.
Selected in the first round (first overall) of the 2022 NBA Draft, Banchero has played and started in 56 games this season with Orlando, averaging a team-high 19.7 ppg., 6.6 rpg. and 3.6 apg. in 33.7 minpg. He ranks among all NBA leaders in minutes played (T-39th).
Banchero leads all NBA rookies in scoring and minutes played, while also ranking among leaders in rebounding (4th), assists (3rd), free throw percentage (6th), steals (4th) and blocked shots (T-8th). He has scored 20+ points 30 times and 30+ points four times this season, the most by any NBA rookie.
Orlando Magic media relations contributed to this column