As most have heard me say about the Orlando Magic, they aren’t going anywhere just yet, but have some pieces in place. Management is clearly building for the future and have done a nice job thus far. Acquiring Nikola Vucevic was one of the biggest moves they have made in the last couple of seasons, in terms of making progress toward future success.
Vucevic, along with another new face this season, could be the difference-maker when it comes to a lower-tier team and a team that could fight for some respect in the East. That second player is none other than rookie guard Victor Oladipo.
Oladipo was drafted by Orlando second overall because they believed he was one of the most NBA-ready out of the draft prospects, and so far they look to be right. Oladipo has done everything asked of the team and more. He’s been an open book, learning anything and everything he can from fellow teammates and veterans, among coaches as well.
The ability for Oladipo to play both shooting guard and point guard may come in handy for the Magic, who already have a starting two guard in Arron Afflalo. Having a shooter like Afflalo is a must for Orlando, and when healthy he’s one of the more underrated and overlooked scorers in the game. Seeing Oladipo take his starting job would be difficult right away.
But, where could Oladipo fit into the starting lineup you ask? He ran a bit of point guard in summer league and throughout the preseason showed the ability to get his teammates involved. That being said, it would be no surprise to see Oladipo supplant the older, past-his-prime Jameer Nelson as the starting point guard eventually.
While Oladipo is a versatile defender and can guard some of the more athletic shooting guards, his versatility could help when it comes to not only playing point guard but defending the oppositions. Nelson has lost a step, obviously, and Oladipo could be an interesting replacement, though he was drafted as a two guard.
Look for Oladipo to be running some point guard this year, even if it is off the bench, and for Nelson to be a little more motivated by the prospects of Oladipo taking his job. After all, he’s done a great job at that spot along with his natural position at the two, and the Magic are desperate for any kind of life heading into the future.