The Orlando Magic selected Victor Oladipo with the second overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. He was a highly touted prospect out of Indiana University and he has lived up to all the hype that surrounded him heading into the draft.
Through 21 games for the Orlando Magic this season, Oladipo has averaged 13.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game. Those numbers are not bad at all, especially considering Oladipo came off the bench in a more limited role for the first part of the season. He has since been moved into the starting lineup and has the green light to do pretty much whatever he’s able to do.
His scoring has been much better than originally anticipated and he has shown the ability to get to the rim and finish strong as well as step out and hit the perimeter shot. There were quite a few question marks surrounding his shooting ability due to the fact that he wasn’t the best shooter from deep in college, but he has silenced those questions with his performances early on this season. There’s no question that he still has some things to learn on the offensive side of the basketball, but he has already become one of the more dependable scorers on the team.
Oladipo has also become one of the better defensive threats in the Eastern Conference as well. He’s averaging 1.7 steals and 0.7 blocks per game and has been able to pester a couple of the best back-court players in the league. As he continues to learn the speed of the game and adjust to the abilities that every single player has, he will become an even better defender.
One of the biggest surprises for the Magic so far this season is the playmaking ability that Oladipo has shown. The 3.5 assists that he is averaging are a big number for a rookie shooting guard. There have been quite a few rumors and reports that state that the Magic foresee Oladipo becoming a point guard in the next year or two, and these numbers certainly show that could be a possibility. He has shown a great amount of unselfishness for being a rookie and he understands how to get his teammates involved and put them in places where they can be successful.
Overall, the Magic have been extremely excited with what they have seen from their rookie guard this season. He has been playing like a guy who has been in the NBA for a few years and the future is getting brighter with each passing week. The Magic may not be able to compete this season in the East, but they are certainly heading in the right direction. Oladipo is going to have a very successful NBA career if he continues on the track he has started out on.
Evan Massey is the Lead Editor for Hoops-Nation. Follow Evan on Twitter at @Massey_Evan.