Let’s just start with this: I thought Victor Oladipo should have been the NBA’s Rookie of the Year.
Even though Philadelphia 76ers point guard Michael Carter-Williams had the better stats, I just felt like Oladipo just had a better year all around and his play elevated and inspired the Orlando Magic to do better. Carter-Williams put up the numbers, but he was the only NBA caliber player on a team filled with high school varsity players. At least Oladipo was surrounded by NBA caliber talent.
Now that that’s out of the way, let me get into the real reason why I am writing this piece: Oladipo’s belongs in the starting unit.
It was clear that Magic head coach Jacque Vaughn had a tough time pinning which position Oladipo would be the most effective at last year. Oladipo bounced around from point guard, to shooting guard, to sixth man, back to point guard and finally back to shooting guard. Despite all of that movement, Oladipo still lived up to expectations as being the most “NBA ready” player in the 2013 NBA Draft.
If the Magic intend on making any noise in the Eastern Conference next season, Vaughn will have to start Oladipo in the one position he would be the most effective in for Orlando: Shooting guard.
Don’t get me wrong; Oladipo displayed that he could play the point, but he turns the ball over too much and his wingspan and defensive poise would be better off in the two-guard role. It would also open up Oladipo to display more of his offensive game, a spot where he surprised many NBA pundits last year.
Oladipo has the skills to become the next Dwyane Wade, and if Vaughn does the right thing, he should take the next step in becoming a top tier guard in 2014-15.