Paolo Banchero may very well be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, but whichever team ends up with the Duke Blue Devils phenom will have to be prepared for a whole lot of sweat. So much sweat, in fact, that Banchero bizarrely loses about seven pounds every time he suits up for a game.
And no, this is not a joke.
Paolo Banchero could be the No. 1 pick in next year’s NBA draft
Banchero signed with Duke as the No. 2 overall prospect in the 2021 high school class, and he’s already exceeding expectations through just a few games with the Blue Devils. The talented forward is averaging 17.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per game on 50% shooting and 33.3% from three through his first eight games, and he’s led Duke to the No. 1 ranking in the country.
Most notably, he dropped 22 points and seven rebounds in a season-opening win against Kentucky and put up 21 points and five rebounds in a statement win against Gonzaga over the weekend.
At 6-foot-10 and 250 pounds, Banchero has the size NBA teams are looking for in a top draft pick, and his offensive game is impressively polished for a 19-year-old. Don’t be surprised if the Duke superstar is the first name called in July’s draft.
Banchero loses seven pounds per game due to excessive sweating
Banchero’s play on the court so far this season has been tantalizing, to say the least, but an interesting health concern has popped up along the way. The star freshman struggled with cramping in both the Kentucky and Gonzaga games.
And now we know why.
During Duke’s most recent game against Ohio State, Holly Rowe of ESPN reported that Banchero is a “heavy sweater.” So much so that he “loses about seven pounds per game.”
Rowe also reported that Banchero drinks an “oxygenated fluid” throughout games to help him not cramp up on the court.
Red flag for NBA teams?
We’ve seen a multitude of red flags pop up from college prospects over the years before they enter the NBA draft, but this might be a new one. An excessive sweater? How do teams at the top of next year’s lottery gauge the risk factor associated with a player who loses seven pounds every game he plays?
It can’t be as serious as off-the-court issues or a broken jump shot, but it’s certainly not nothing. At least it sounds as if Duke has found a way to reduce the number of cramps Banchero has every game, so NBA team doctors should be able to figure out how to deal with this unique issue.
As long as teams can look past Banchero’s bizarre sweating and frequent cramps, he’ll be the first name off the board next July.
All stats courtesy of Sports Reference.