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How Would Victor Oladipo Fit With The Magic?

2013 April 28
by Andrew Melnick

The last first round draft prospect we’ll take a look is Indiana wing Victor Oladipo.

(We’ve already taken a look at Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart (who has announced he will return to school), Kansas guard Ben McLemoreMichigan guard Trey Burke and Kentucky center Nerlens Noel.)

Oladipo has always been known as a very good defender, but expanded his game, shooting the ball much better during his junior season. The Hoosiers were ranked in the top five throughout the season, so Oladipo’s defensive exploits and improving offense were often on the national spotlight, causing his stock to soar.

The first thing that sticks out to you about Oladipo is his athleticism. He is no doubt an elite athlete, which is the main reason he is such a good defender. Unlike many college players, Oladipo consistently plays with energy and intensity on that side of the ball and has made shutting down his opponent his top priority in a Tony Allen type of way. You don’t usually see that in college basketball. Oladipo is listed at 6’5 and 210 lbs.

“With the ability to guard up to four positions at the college level, Oladipo projects to be able to defend all three perimeter positions at the NBA level, depending on matchups,” writes Walter Beeken of Draft Express. “He has the speed and quickness to cover point guards, and his athleticism, strength, and toughness should enable him to guard most small forwards as well. Coaches will likely value the flexibility Oladipo gives them on the defensive end, as they can cross-match and hide weaker defenders while putting Oladipo on the opposing team’s top perimeter threat, regardless of position.”

As I noted above, Oladipo’s defense was a known commodity and his offensive improvement is what really stood out.

After the jump, we’ll take a look at Oladipo’s junior statistics:

36/36  28.4 28.9  13.6 6.3 64.8 67.1 74.6
2.8 12.9 15.2 18.5 4.6 6.8 86.9 125.7


Oladpio’s impressive effective field goal percentage ranked second among Draft Express’s Top 100 prospects and was fourth overall in the NCAA this season (Oladipo was eighth in the country in true shooting). Oladipo improved in every single category listed above, except his turnover percentage, which was up from 17.5% in the 2011-12 season.

Despite his obvious massive offensive improvements, Oladipo still has limitations on the offensive end.

“As we’ve touched on before, Oladipo is fairly limited as a ball-handler and playmaker, with most of his opportunities coming off of straight-line drives on close-outs or when he can catch the ball on the move,” writes Beeken. “Indiana Coach Tom Crean seems to be getting more comfortable using him as a creator, however, as almost 20% of his possessions have come in isolations or as the ball-handler in pick-and-roll sets. He is far more comfortable dribbling and finishing with his right hand at this stage and doesn’t show much in the way of advanced ball-handling skills, but he’s still able to get the basket at times, as he is very difficult to stop once he’s built up a full head of steam and is able to utilize his blazing speed.”

If the Magic were to take Oladipo, it would be interesting to see how he’d fit in next to promising rookie Maurice Harkless. Oladipo is a good enough athlete to play shooting guard alongside Harkless. The potential to develop into two lock-down wing defenders would be there, but the offense could suffer. Neither appears to be the type of player that can take opponents off of the dribble and create open shots for themselves or others, which is something, among many other things, the Magic severely lack.

Although many mock drafts beg  differ, Oladipo is one of the top five players in the class and would be a nice addition for any team, including the Magic. Remember, you can never have too many solid, tradeable assets.

Mock Drafts:

Draft Express:
Noel Pick: Fourth overall to Phoenix
Magic Pick: Kansas guard Ben McLemore

NBA Draft.Net
Noel Pick: Eighth overall to Washington
Magic Pick: Kentucky center Nerlens Noel

Hoops World (Yannis Koutroupis):
Noel Pick: Sixth overall to New Orleans
Magic Pick: Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart

ESPN (Chad Ford):
Noel Pick: Fifth overall to Detroit
Magic Pick: Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart

CBS (Jeff Goodman):
Noel Pick: Fifth overall to Detroit
Magic Pick: Kentucky center Nerlens Noel 

 You can follow Andrew on twitter here.

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3 Responses Post a comment
  1. April 29, 2013

    Oladipo is not an ordinary man, is a man who has vision, he knows what he wants and where he wants to go. I think to play shooting guard alongside Harkless…. Could be very interesting and a great strategy.

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