The NBA Draft often has a lot of build up heading to the actual event. Tons of possible trade rumors began swirling from the time it’s determined who wins the draft lottery. Should this guy be traded? Should the team trade the pick? There’s a lot of times a clear cut number one overall selection.
However, the 2013 NBA Draft represents one of those years where that doesn’t seem to be the case. You ask ten different NBA scouts and you’re likely to get several different answers. One of those answers is Indiana off guard Victor Oladipo.
Now often when we think of off guards being taken number one overall we tend to assume he has great offensive ability. Either being a great outside scorer or an relentless scorer who attacks off the dribble. Oladipo is the rare lottery prospect in that is not his calling card at this point. His numbers are solid (13.6ppg while converting 59.9% of his shot attempts), but he’s very much a project offensively.
Right now Oladipo is primarily an opportunistic scorer in the half court via cutting to basket or hitting offensive glass. In the open court he’s his exceptionalathletic ability allows him to finish above the rim with spectacular dunks.
So why is he regarded so highly? Because of his defensive prowess, his energy/work ethic, and his upside. Defensively he’s an absolute hound in every sense of the word. Plays passing lanes well due to length (6’9 wingspan) and anticipation. Oladipo has a strong frame at 6’4, 213 pounds. This will allow Oladipo to to guard all three perimeter positions effectively.
Oladipo showed marked improvement between this season and the previous season in 2012, which is an indication that he’s not only a hard worker, but also a player who will respond to coaching.
Oladipo plays with a great motor as well. NBA organizations love players with this trait in them. This is why many GM’s are high on Oladipo in regards to his upside. Often is the case perimeter players improve on the next level due to the spacing and tempo the NBA game offers. Oladipo will play within himself until he’s able to expand his game.
There are a lot of comparisons to Miami Heat All-NBA guard Dwyane Wade. Not sure if Oladipo has that type of offensive ability even on his best day right now, but in a draft a little light at the top in terms of talent, Oladipo is thought to be one of the surest selections available.
Best NBA Comparison: Andre Iguodala