With the 2nd pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, the Orlando Magic drafted Victor Oladipo out of Indiana University. Many question what position he is going to play in the NBA as there have been rumors swirling around in Orlando that they might try to use him as a Russell Westbrook type of point guard. Standing at 6’5″ with incredible athleticism, he’d certainly be a big point guard, but he’s got the ability and skill to do that if the Magic do end up deciding to use him at the point.
Oladipo put up great all-around averages during his Junior season with the Hoosiers with 13.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.2 steals, and 2.1 assists per game. He’s known for his aggressive defense both on ball and off. You can expect to see him pester the opposing teams’ best guards every single night, and cause them issues even in his rookie season. His game looks to translate very well into the NBA, although he does need to work on his outside a bit in order to be the most effective that he can be this season.
He comes from a very well coached system by Tom Crean, and is a very humble player as well. Jacque Vaughn and company will have a very easy time molding Oladipo into whatever they want him to be. He’s got a great motor and you will never be able to call him a slacker. His work ethic is amazing and that will not change even though he’s made it to the big stage.
The Magic have been searching for some excitement ever since Dwight Howard wore out his welcome in Orlando, and this kid has the potential to just that. He’s a high flying, hard working, extremely talented young player who will be asked to step in immediately and contribute. If you know any Magic fans, I’m sure you’ve heard the buzz and excitement surrounding this season. Orlando is not expected to compete for the Playoffs this year, but they are taking the right steps to re-build and build a talented roster.
There are some question marks about Oladipo’s offensive game, especially from the perimeter as was mentioned earlier in this article. He did shoot 44% from behind the arc in his Junior year at IU, but that number will most certainly drop as he hits the NBA three-point line. He won’t get the open looks that Crean was able to get him while playing at the college level, and the shot is also farther back than he is used to. Even the best three-point shooters from the college ranks struggle at first when the reach the NBA level. He’ll need to do some work on his shot, but that isn’t expected to be all that big of an issue for him with his work ethic.
Overall, the expectations are very high for Oladipo in Orlando. Quite a few Magic fans are expecting him to come in and be the new face of their franchise within the next 2-3 years, and that is certainly more than possible. He’ll also have a strong shot to win the NBA’s Rookie of the Year Award this year, and you can expect to see him play a good game each and every single night. You may not see exceptional statistic on the box score every night, but you will also see great hustle and hard work. His hustle is never questioned, and that will not change at the professional level.