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MBO Makes The Pick

2013 June 27


The folks here at mBo got together to discuss who we believe the Orlando Magic will select with second overall pick in Thursday night’s draft.

Andrew: Victor Oladipo

Oladipo isn’t a sure thing, but I believe at worst, he winds up being a solid defender. Oladipo’s offense and ability to create are a few of the questions pundits have about him.

If Oladipo continues to get better, that shouldn’t be a problem. Oladipo was one of the most improved players in college basketball last season, upping his effective field goal percentage from 48.8% in the 2011-12 season to 64.8% in the 2012-13 season and improving his true shooting percentage from 54.6% to 67.1%.  Oladipo’s offensive rating improved from 110.0 to 125.7. What makes that impressive is he defense didn’t suffer. In fact, it got even better. His defensive rating went from 97.0 to 86.9.

Clearly, work ethic won’t be any question for Oladipo.

Of course, if the Cleveland Cavaliers do indeed decide to take Maryland center Alex Len instead of Kentucky big man Nerlens Noel, my pick changes to Noel.

Brian: Nerlens Noel

The Magic have to take the player with the most upside that fits their system, regardless of ligament health. If Nerlens Noel is available for some reason, they have to take the 7′ with the hope he can one day replace that Dwight Howard once brought. If Noel is gone, as expected, then Oladipo is the pick. While McLemore appears to have a higher ceiling, it’s much less likely he will achieve that peak level than Oladipo would. While you can’t teach athleticism, you also can’t teach ferocity and elite effort. Oladipo brings all of these things.

Preston: Nerlens Noel

I think Noel and Oladipo are 1-2 on their board. If Cleveland skips on Noel, (which looks possible but not yet probable), I think the Magic take him. He is a fit for the Magic’s need for a dynamic defensive presence, and the Magic are one team that can afford to let Noel rehab, heal, and get stronger without needing to rush him onto the floor. Cleveland? They are trying to win, and they want someone who can contribute.
If Noel is gone (which still seems most likely) then I think the pick has to be Oladipo. He can fill the potential hole left by the expected Afflalo trade, he is mature off the court (important for a team that is this young) and has a great motor to make his ‘worst case scenario’ higher than the other options. Add in that he is ‘NBA-ready’ in at least one skill (defense) already, it is tough to ignore that he is probably the top option in this draft for most teams.
I don’t see the Magic drafting McLemore, Porter, or Bennett, but I think Burke or Zeller are options if the Magic move to the late lottery/mid-1st round.

Adam: Victor Oladipo

I thought ‘Henny’ should and would draft Victor long before the rumors of Ben McLemore having shaky workouts and an alleged laziness came out. Even if they’re false leaks, I just view Oladipo having a superb professional-readiness that I don’t view McLemore ever fully obtaining. Ben has way higher ‘bust’ potential than Oladipo. Victor’s defense, rebounding, and cutting capabilities I value higher than Ben’s ‘shooting’. Oladipo is an underrated jump shooter in my eyes and I really portray him as a Luol Deng-Dwyane Wade hybrid. That’s not a reach especially if Victor continues hitting the gym as hard as he does. Even if Hennigan prefers to deal the #2 pick (I think he keeps it), Oladipo appears to be much more coveted than McLemore, so there would be more trade suitors. I don’t believe for a second that Cleveland won’t draft Nerlens Noel. The Alex Len/Otto Porter rumors are nothing but smokescreens from the Cavs. Even if Cleveland deals the #1 pick, whoever acquires it will draft Noel.

Follow Andrew on twitter here.

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