The Orlando Magic elected to rest rookie guard Victor Oladipo in their final game at the Orlando NBA Summer League on Friday afternoon, which resulted in a 102-83 loss to the Boston Celtics. Despite Oladipo not playing in the team’s final contest, though, it’s already abundantly clear that the Magic made the right decision in picking Oladipo with the second overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.
In Oladipo’s four games with the Magic at Summer League, he played 32.5 minutes per game and averaged a terrific line of 19 points, 4.3 rebounds, five assists and three steals per game. He did turn the ball over 4.8 times per game, but the Magic were also experimenting with him at point guard, a position he’s not totally accustomed to playing.
There were two real takeaways from Oladipo’s performance at Summer League. The first thing that was evident from his first game is that the Magic coaching staff instructed him to look for his shot often so that they could gauge his scoring prowess. Over his four games, Oladipo put up a total of 48 shots. He shot only 37.5 percent from the field, but he also showed that his ability to attack with his elite athleticism is a huge asset as he got to the foul line 40 times in four games.
The other big takeaway from what Oladipo showed this week is the fact that it seems like his three-point shooting, which improved a great deal in his final season at Indiana, was not a fluke. Over the week at Summer League, Oladipo shot 7-13 from long-range, good for 53.8 percent shooting. If Oladipo can consistently knock down outside shots, that’s going to be huge for him at the professional level.
In the end, Oladipo showed why he rose up in the draft all the way to the second pick. He’s a fantastic defender with great footwork and create havoc on that end. More than that, he also showed that his athleticism creates a lot of opportunities on offense and that he has the ability to make shots from beyond-the-arc. It’s obviously still too soon to say it definitively, but it does appear that Oladipo is just at the beginning of his success in the NBA.