What Does Orlando Magic Playing Victor Oladipo at Both Guard Positions Mean for Rookie?
The Orlando Magic may not have ended up with the number one overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, despite having the worst record in the league last season, but they may have ended up with the best player in the draft class. By many accounts, number two overall pick and Magic rookie Victor Oladipo has the best chance to be a game-changer at the NBA level.
Oladipo shot up draft boards last season with Indiana after not really being in the lottery picture before the season got under way. His ability as a lockdown perimeter defender, a much improved offensive player, and as an energy guy with an unbelievable motor raised his stock and put him in the position that he currently is in with Orlando.
As far as his rookie season, though, there have been rumblings since right before the Orlando Summer League that the Magic would experiment with Oladipo at the point guard position this season. Magic general manager Rob Hennigan confirmed this on the Magic’s Twitter account when he said that Oladipo would see time at both guard positions this season, saying he believes it’s the future of the league.
Despite playing shooting guard almost exclusively at Indiana, the Magic played Oladipo largely at point guard at Summer League. He was productive as he averaged 19 points, five assists, 4.3 rebounds and three steals per game, but there were some obvious drawbacks to him playing at the point guard position.
While at Summer League, Oladipo shot only 37.5 percent from the floor, though he did shoot 7-13 from long-range. This is concerning in that it shows that Oladipo is not as adept at creating his own shot as the primary ball-handler as he is at playing off of the ball.
The biggest issue that was seen at Summer League, though, was Oladipo’s ball-handling skills. He’s a natural leader and seems to grasp being a floor-general well enough for a young player, but his 4.8 turnovers per game at Summer League are still somewhat alarming considering that it was against Summer League competition.
Obviously, it’s never wise to read too much into Summer League play, but there should be some concerns about Oladipo playing at both the point and shooting guard positions. I’m not sure if that sets him up to succeed immediately in this league as well as the Magic could by playing him primarily at the two-guard. I have no doubt in Oladipo’s abilities, I’m just wary of the situation he’s being placed in.