Rob Hennigan has struck again.
The Orlando Magic have selected Victor Oladipo with the second overall pick in the 2013 NBADraft, securing the rights to a player who fits exactly what the team needs as they continue to storm ahead in the rebuilding process.
Orlando’s defense was atrocious last season, and Oladipo’s biggest asset right now is his ability to play tough, pesky defense. Listed at 6’4″, Oladipo will give up a few inches to different two-guards in the league, but with a wingspan at around 6’10″ and the strength and athleticism that is NBA-ready, he will prove his defensive worth immediately in Orlando.
Offensively, Oladipo made big strides with his jump shooting this past season, although it is far from a finished product. The improvement shows he is working on strengthening his entire game which should bring even more joy to Magic Nation. At this stage, he is more of an opportunistic scorer, but when you see him with a full head of steam going to the rim, he is very difficult to contend with.
The emergence of Nikola Vucevic and Tobias Harris offensively allowed Orlando to select Oladipo over Ben McLemore, who was said to be Orlando’s top choice through much of the pre-draft buildup. Oladipo will make a huge impact defensively in Orlando, as he is projected to be able to guard three different positions.
He is quick enough to guard point guards and strong enough to contend with players in his position and most small forwards. Oladipo will have to contend with Aaron Afflalo, who’s been the subject of trade speculation, and Maurice Harkless. Should a trade involving Afflalo happen, I think Oladipo should start at the two-guard position right away. His defense and endless energy are attributes the Magic desperately need and he has the potential to really energize the rest of the players with his tenacity.
In Rob We Trust.