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Jamal Crawford impressed with ‘franchise cornerstone’ Paolo Banchero

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Paolo Banchero established himself as a potential No. 1 pick in the NBA draft after an incredible run with Duke last season, and the 19-year-old recently earned high praise from legend Jamal Crawford.

Banchero, who was a consensus second-team All-American, averaged 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.1 steals in 39 games. He led all true freshmen in the country in scoring and ranked sixth in rebounding and fifth in field-goal percentage (47.8).

Like Crawford, Banchero was also born in Seattle, Washington, and often reps the Emerald City often. He even participated in “The Crawsover” last year, an annual pro-am league founded by Crawford that takes place on the campus of Seattle Pacific University.

In other words, Crawford has known about Banchero for a long time.

The three-time Sixth Man of the Year recently joined former NBA players Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson on the “All The Smoke” podcast and offered an assessment of Banchero at this stage of his journey.

He is a problem. I love him. I love his family because the family he comes from — him, his brother and sister — are going to be successful in whatever they do because they have a solid background, a solid footing. He is a worker, a gym rat. He loves to get better, (and is) humble. When you talk to him, he is still young in the sense of he doesn’t have all of the answers. He is like, ‘OK, I’ll apply that,’ and that part is dope about him. Whoever is getting him is going to get a franchise cornerstone.

Banchero enters the draft highly touted given his overall ability.

The 6-foot-10 forward made a living in the post but was also effective in the mid-range by creating space with his patented jab-step. He was a solid 3-point shooter, converting on 33.8% of his 3.3 attempts, and has a nice form that should improve.

He has the size and physicality that should translate well to the next level, along with the work ethic to want to improve. Crawford could see Banchero potentially ending up as the No. 1 pick but knows he could fit in elsewhere near the top of the draft.

Banchero has the tools to become an all-around great player and appears to have a bright future ahead. Certainly, Crawford can see why Banchero is poised to have a long career.

This post originally appeared on Rookie Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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