A Duke basketball freshman has signed with the same sports agency as Zion Williamson.
It has been rather quiet publicly for Duke basketball players in the new era of Name, Image, and Likeness deals, but one major domino fell on Monday afternoon.
Perhaps the Blue Devils’ best player this season, Paolo Banchero, who is also a projected Top-5 NBA Draft pick next season, signed a deal with CAA Basketball to represent him in future NIL deals throughout his Duke career.
CAA Basketball also represents former Duke icon and No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, Zion Williamson.
Williamson, who was in Durham last week attending the K Academy, welcomed Banchero to the CAA Family via Twitter.
Paolo Banchero arrives at Duke from Seattle, Washington as a five-star prospect and the No. 2 player in the Class of 2021, according to the 247 Sports Composite Rankings, only trailing Gonzaga freshman center Chet Holmgren.
The 6-foot-9, 235-pound power forward joins a freshman class of Adrian Griffin Jr., Trevor Keels, and Jaylen Blakes in Durham along with graduate transfers Theo John and Bates Jones.
Duke basketball readying for tough 2021-22 season ahead
Many have predicted Paolo Banchero as the favorite for the ACC Freshman of the Year as well as some pegging the Duke freshman as a contender for the ACC Player of the Year and the National Player of the Year.
Banchero will have a tough debut to his college career as the Blue Devils will open the season at Madison Square Garden against the Kentucky Wildcats on November 9.
The Seattle native will also have the chance to battle against his highly thought of freshman counterpart in Holmgren as Duke will face Gonzaga in the Continental Tire Challenge at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on November 26.
Paolo Banchero gets to officially introduce himself to the Cameron Crazies on October 15 at the return of Countdown to Craziness.