Even with Nerlens Noel not being selected first overall in the 2013 NBA Draft, the Orlando Magic didn’t budge from their plan. The player that they wanted was still on the board along with Noel and they weren’t going to deviate. That’s why they stood their ground and selected Victor Oladipo with the second overall pick.
Oladipo shot up draft boards over the college season last year as people were continually impressed with his all-around skill, his energy level and his general feel for the game. Even with Noel still on the board, no one was faulting the Magic for selecting Oladipo with the second pick, which says a lot about how highly valued of a prospect he is.
The Magic got their first look at Oladipo at the Orlando NBA Summer League and he definitely lived up to the hype, even with him playing at point guard, which is an experiment by the Magic and not his natural position. In the four games that Oladipo played in, he averaged 19 points, five assists, 4.3 rebounds and three steals in 32.5 minutes per game. He only shot 37.5 percent from the field, but did convert on an impressive 53.8 percent from beyond-the-arc.
Oladipo was inefficient as a whole offensively and had turnover troubles, but those were products of Summer League more than troubling trends. Oladipo was playing out of position and was guided to be aggressive to a fault on offense in Summer League. However, what Oladipo showed was the ability to be a playmaker on the offensive end of the floor and showed his tremendous ability on the defensive end of the floor.
Oladipo is going to have a learning curve in the NBA like 98 percent of rookies do. He’s going to have to adjust to getting his shot against bigger and stronger guys and with making plays against quicker players. However, it’s abundantly clear that Oladipo has the tools and make-up to be a successful player in this league. It wouldn’t be a surprise at all to see Oladipo named as the Rookie of the Year for next season.