Victor Oladipo shot up boards in the months leading up to the 2013 NBA Draft. In the end, Oladipo ended up coming off of the board with the second overall pick when the Orlando Magic snatched him up, a move that not only puts Oladipo in a position where he will get a chance to play and develop, but where he will also fit a need in the future for Orlando.
Oladipo is expected to do a lot of things for the Magic in the 2013-2014 season. Not only is he expected to show off his prowess as a defender, but many people also expect to see him as an efficient outside shooter and he’s also possibly going to be seeing time at point guard, despite being a natural two-guard.
Though Oladipo has the potential to eventually be the best player taken in the 2013 NBA Draft, I can’t see him taking home the league’s Rookie of the Year title this year. The opportunities will be there for a Magic team that, once again, appears to be tanking and developing young players, but there are also a lot of things not working in his favor.
The first thing going against the rookie is the idea of him playing point guard for the Magic. The reasoning is understood; this is a team wanting to move on from Jameer Nelson and Oladipo is a player they can experiment with. However, with Oladipo’s inexperience at the position, that could put him in unfamiliar situations where he could have less a chance at succeeding than he would elsewhere on the floor.
Possibly the biggest reason his Rookie of the Year candidacy seems a bit shaky is the fact that people are banking on him being a threat from beyond-the-arc. In his final season at Indiana, Oladipo hit 44.1 percent of his three-point attempts, leading a lot of people to believe he’s a potential knock-down shooter. However, he shot just 20.8 percent and 30.8 percent from three in the two previous seasons, respectively. Of course, this could be an area where Oladipo has legitimately grown as a player and doesn’t regress, but the risk of regression is certainly there.
I believe in Oladipo as a prospect. Players with his instincts, athleticism and work-ethic are rare and that honestly gives him a floor of a poor man’s Tony Allen. However, I think he may hit some hurdles in his rookie season, which will ultimately cost him the Rookie of the Year award.