“Magic PF Paolo Banchero 'A true superstar,' says Clippers' Paul George”

ORLANDO- The Orlando Magic and Paolo Banchero have caused a stir in the league with their success this season and in the playoffs.

Among the players who have caught the Magic and Banchero's eye is Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul George. On his podcast, “Podcast P with Paul George,” George highlighted the Magic’s performance against the Cleveland Cavaliers and Banchero’s impact in the series.

“Paolo was the ultimate star” George said. “He was phenomenal, he was sensational, a real superstar, and he's playing against a strong team… He was extremely consistent, he was a goalscorer.” [and] Dominant. I love his persistence. He’s one of the strongest players I’ve played against…He’s a man-child who’s literally playing a man’s game at such a young age.”

Banchero, 21, scored 39 points in Orlando's 104-103 loss to the Cavs on Tuesday. With this performance, he became the third-youngest player to post consecutive 30-point games, behind only LeBron James and Anthony Edwards. He also now ties Shaquille O'Neal for eighth all-time in Magic playoff history for most points scored in a game.

Banchero's skill and play earned high praise from George as he compared him to Carmelo Anthony, who was one of the game's most prolific goalscorers in his prime.

“Physically, he reminds me a little bit of Melo,” George said. “Melo was like, if you knew you were playing against Melo, you were going to get hit and bruised because he was constantly putting pressure on the rim and putting pressure on you to stay in front of him.”

George added: “I was very impressed with his first playoff experience and that the Orlando Magic team is going to be good for a very long time.”

In five games in the first round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs, Banchero averaged 24.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game.

Since George will be a free agent this offseason, his words could pique interest from Magic leadership, particularly at NBA insider Ramona Shelburne Coverage of the franchise is keeping an eye on him. Orlando has the money to sign him outright, and the draft suggests potentially allowing a sign-and-trade if that's what it takes to acquire him.

George can be exactly the type of player Orlando needs, a playoff-tested veteran who can help a young team take the next step. Beyond his experience, he has also consistently been one of the best players in the NBA over the past decade.

It might be something, or it might be nothing, but considering how much the nine-time All-Star thinks of Banchero and the Magic, Orlando could be a realistic destination for George, and he could very well be the one who wants it A franchise needs to turn a playoff team into a real contender.

Related stories about the Orlando Magic

  • PAOLO BANCHERO JOINS ELITE COMPANIES: Paolo Banchero had one of the best offensive performances in Orlando Magic playoff history in their loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. CLICK HERE
  • GAME 5 SUMMARY: The Orlando Magic failed to secure a win in a hard-fought Game 5 against the Cleveland Cavaliers. CLICK HERE
  • PG TO ORLANDO?: The Orlando Magic could sign Los Angeles Clippers All-Star Paul George in free agency this summer. CLICK HERE

Anna Harden

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