Possessing the no. 2 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft is of course a blessing for the Orlando Magic. The Magic will have to see what the Cleveland Cavaliers do with the first overall pick, but they should be comfortable in their position. This year’s draft has been so up and down that there is neither a clear-cut top pick nor is there is guaranteed superstar. S
o what’s my best-case scenario for the Magic tomorrow night?
First, closing the deal with the Los Angeles Clippers would be a big move for the Magic. The deal would send Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler to Orlando with Aaron Afflalo going to the Clippers.
The Magic would get out from another multi-year contract that Afflalo was signed to, and Caron Butler’s expiring deal can be used as an asset to the team. There could be a team during the season that is one piece away from becoming contenders, and maybe they’ll overpay for a solid veteran like Butler to try and chase a title. Most importantly, the Magic would get their young point guard to eventually replace Jameer Nelson.
With the no. 2 pick, it’s down to two players for me: Ben McLemore and Victor Oladipo. You can read here why it’s tough to argue against picking Ben McLemore as he would definitely be a solid pick , but I think Victor Oladipo would be the best pick for the Magic.
Oladipo has made a lot of strides in his game from one year to the next at the college level, and his work ethic has been highly praised. Oladipo’s offensive game isn’t nearly as refined as McLemore’s, but with the emergence of Tobias Harris and Nikola Vucevic as scoring options, does Orlando necessarily need to place so much stock in scoring?
Oladipo’s appetite for the game of basketball on both ends of the floor is something that is very rare, and quite possibly his biggest attribute. He’s a tenacious defender and works hard getting to the rim and off the ball on offense. He also has a lot of the same concerns and strengths as Dwyane Wade did coming out of college, and he has a very high ceiling in the NBA.
At the very least, the Magic would get a an elite athlete who plays tough defense and can get to the basket on the offensive end of the court.
You could see the impact of a player like Oladipo during the NBA Finals. Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs was huge throughout the playoffs. His work rate defensively and rebounding the ball was crucial, and he’s one of those players that makes the starting five come together.
It’s a tough decision for Orlando, McLemore and Oladipo both would be good picks and both have high ceilings in the NBA should they reach their potential. As of now, I’m taking the guy who you can count on to bring it every night in a grueling NBA season, Victor Oladipo.