Paolo Banchero’s playing style draws comparisons to this Knicks forward

Duke Blue Devils forward Paolo Banchero Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Duke Blue Devils forward Paolo Banchero Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports /

The 2022 NBA Draft is a little less than a month away and as teams are working to make decisions on potential draft picks, analysts and journalists have put together lists of which players in the NBA the draftees compare to. One of those comparisons was between Duke forward Paolo Banchero and New York Knicks power forward Julius Randle.

HoopsHype released a mock draft detailing this year’s prospects and their abilities and potential trade value in the upcoming draft. Banchero is expected to be a top draft pick, which is not surprising because of his skill set. But what caught my attention was how the article compared the upside of Banchero’s game to Randle’s in the 2020-21 season.

In 2020-21, Randle reinvented himself. He led the Knicks to the playoffs, averaging 24.1 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 6 assists per game. His performance earned him his first All-Star appearance.

Randle also took home Most Improved Player over Detroit Pistons’ Jerami Grant and Denver Nuggets’ Michael Porter Jr. His season performance prompted New York to sign him to a four-year, $117 million contract extension during the summer.

How similar are Paolo Banchero and Knicks’ Julius Randle’s playing styles?

Banchero is 6’10” and 250 pounds. Due to his frame and physicality, he can easily back down smaller defenders in the posts. Banchero made 70.5 percent of his 132 attempts when diving to the rim.

Randle is also good in the post. He is excellent at creating space between himself and the defenders to get off a shot. Randle shot 43% from mid-range in the 2020-21 season, finishing in the 58th percentile.

Randle and Banchero also matchup in terms of 3-point shooting. Banchero was just 33.8% from the arc, making 44 of 130 threes. Randle’s 3-point shooting was a little better during his breakout season, as he shot 41.1% from the 3-point line.

HoopsHype mentions Banchero as the most complete player entering the draft, which may be true. He is good at making plays, has an elite handle, and is dominant in the post, similar to Randle. However, Banchero’s shooting from deep needs some work.

Randle improved his 3-point shot during his All-Star season. His 41.1% shooting from behind the arc proved to be a huge improvement because it was far worse in previous seasons. If Randle could improve his shot from deep, Banchero can certainly do the same at the next level.