Predicting the 2021-22 Duke basketball starting lineup

Duke basketball (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /
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Predicted 2021-22 Duke basketball starting power forward: Paolo Banchero

This pick for a starting gig is an absolute no-brainer. Surely, as a bonafide bruiser who sits No. 3 overall on the 247Sports 2021 Composite and boasts arguably the most NBA-ready arsenal of any high schooler out there, 6-foot-9 Seattle product Paolo Banchero seems on course for a prolific 2021-22 freshman season after pledging allegiance to #TheBrotherhood in August.

In four games against mostly elite high school hoopsters this past week at The Grind Session World Championship in Arizona, Banchero combined for 130 points, 47 rebounds, 12 assists, and nine blocks. Unfortunately, though, his No. 2 seed BFL Prep (Wash.) squad came up a few points short of the trophy in Saturday’s title bout against No. 1 seed Arizona Compass.

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Yet judging from his stats and all the notable recent highlights (above) pointing to an array of moves inside and outside the paint — even extending beyond the arc in pretty much any capacity on both ends of the floor — one has to imagine Paolo Banchero is set to become a worthy Duke basketball centerpiece. Instantly, he should perfectly complement the following budding 7-footer…