With training camp close to getting underway for NBA teams and with the start of the 2013-2014 season less than a month and a half away, odds for various awards and for the conference titles and championship are being released. Rookie of the Year is one of the awards which there are widely odds available for, with Orlando Magic rookie Victor Oladipo widely being considered the favorite.
Coming into the 2013 NBA Draft, it was near unanimous that Oladipo is the best pro prospect in the draft. He may not have the highest upside of every rookie in this class, but he is one of the most ready and still has a solid chance to grow once he’s in the Association. More than that, he will have ample opportunities to make an impact on a paltry Magic team.
Despite all of that, though, Oladipo doesn’t want to hear about being the favorite for the award. In a recent article from John Denton of NBA.com, Denton quoted Oladipo as saying, “I don’t really pay attention to that (hype) because all of my life I’ve been overlooked.” Oladipo continued to say that listening to what people say about him doesn’t do any good and that he just has to focus on himself as a player.
Considering the situation that Oladipo is walking into, he undoubtedly has the correct mindset. There have been reports coming out since Summer League that the Magic want Oladipo to play point guard, which isn’t the position that he played at college. While he has the skill-set to be a point guard in this league, there will still be some growing pains as he makes adjustments and plays with a team full of other young players. There’s going to be criticism that comes along with that, but that’s why him ignoring what others say is so important.
Oladipo could very well win Rookie of the Year, though there are certainly other players that will be able to challenge him for the award. Ultimately, though, that shouldn’t be a concern to the rookie. He should be concerned about being successful at switching positions and making this young Orlando team better, which seems to be where his focus lies as of right now.
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