RTC NBA Draft Profiles: Victor OladipoPosted by BHayes on June 27th, 2013
The NBA Draft is scheduled for Thursday, June 27, in Brooklyn. As we have done for the last several years, RTC will provide comprehensive breakdowns of a number of the top collegians most likely to hear his name called by David Stern in the first round on draft night. We’ll generally work backwards and work our way up into the lottery as June progresses. As an added bonus, we’ll also bring you a scouting take from NBADraft.net’s Aran Smith at the bottom of each player evaluation. This post was contributed by RTC’s Bennet Hayes. He can be found on Twitter @HoopsTraveler.
Player Name: Victor Oladipo
Height/Weight: 6’4”/215 lbs.
NBA Position: Shooting Guard
Projected Draft Range: Top Five
Overview: No player saw their stock rise more in 2012-13 than Victor Oladipo. This time last year, Oladipo was a fringe second-round prospect at best. Now it appears he will be a top-five pick at worst, and he is still in play to be the #1 overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft just days from draft day. What a journey it has been. Along the way there were clutch moments (on both ends of the floor), copious Indiana W’s, and even some, gasp, MJ comparisons thrown Oladipo’s way. While that sort of talk may include a bit of hyperbole (just a little!), there can be no denying Oladipo’s impact on the Hoosiers last season. The stat sheet won’t blow you away – 13.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.2 steals a game, but Oladipo did shoot 60% from the field (44% from three point range) in the toughest conference in America. Let’s also remember that this is a 6’4” guard grabbing those six rebounds a game; if not for Jamaal Franklin, a case could be made that Oladipo was the best rebounding guard in the country last season. But Oladipo’s case to be one of the first players off the board has to do with a lot more than his numbers. His tireless work ethic, which helped spike this surge in both production and draft stock, is relevant here. Or how about the energy and leadership that was on constant display a season ago? You better believe NBA teams are salivating at the thought of inserting that kind of player into both their rotation and locker room. The intangibles are there for Oladipo, and his athleticism and work ethic seem to have built in a significantly high floor for him at the next level. The question becomes how high do those things make his ceiling?
Will Translate to the NBA: Oladipo will be a defensive stopper from the moment he steps on the floor in the NBA. His defensive metrics don’t align perfectly with his reputation as a stopper, but few scouts have any concern that he won’t be ready to guard NBA wings right away. His athleticism and competitiveness combine to make him a scorer’s nightmare. In college he proved capable of guarding anyone from point guards to power forwards; the scope of his duties will narrow in the NBA, but one NBA coach will have the luxury of Oladipo to throw on opposing perimeter scorers. Beyond his defense, Oladipo’s athleticism translates well into a transition, up-and-down game – another area where his relentlessness and passion will aid him in being effective in the league from the get-go.
Needs Work: Do we trust Oladipo’s jump shot? He made 44% a season ago, but the sample size was small (just 68 3PA) and this after going 18-74 from deep in his first two seasons in Bloomington. Maybe he is as improved as that percentage would indicate, but either way, Oladipo will need to prove that he can consistently knock down the outside shot. Oladipo also had a very low usage rate at Indiana, leaving scouts to wonder whether he will ever be able to shoulder the offensive load for an NBA outfit. As resourceful as Oladipo was in finding ways to score at the college level, he could still stand to become a more fluid ball-handler and driver, as garbage baskets will not be so readily available in the NBA. In summary: the offensive game could use a little bit of polish everywhere.
Best Case Scenario: Apologies to Dickie V, but we are going to aim a little lower than MJ on this one. While it’s tough to buy Oladipo someday transforming into Jordan, that’s far from the only flattering NBA comparison he has received. Many see a lot of Dwyane Wade in Oladipo, and while even Wade would seem like an exaggerated best case scenario for the former IU swingman, it’s easier to see Oladipo growing into that mold. His offensive game, especially in the half-court, will have to quickly improve, but Oladipo’s athletic ability and desire to be great give him a real chance to be a perennial all-star – and one that is equally effective on both ends of the court.
Best NBA Fit: It’s hard to see the Cavs at #1 reach for Oladipo with Dion Waiters already in place in Cleveland, so it’s natural to look to the Orlando Magic at #2 for Victor’s first potential landing spot. If the proposed Afflalo for Bledsoe swap with the Clippers comes to fruition, an Oladipo-Bledsoe backcourt would immediately become one of, if not the most athletic backcourts in the NBA. Looking down the board, a pair of teams in dire need of both an energy infusion and flat-out winners are the Charlotte Bobcats at #4 and the Phoenix Suns at #5. Phoenix especially could be a nice fit for Oladipo – a team that still doesn’t hate to get up and down, even if Steve Nash is now in Laker blue and gold.
Scout’s Take (from NBADraft.net): “Explosive athlete who plays with great energy and aggression on both ends of the floor… Fearless slasher, with potential to be dangerous as a transition player… Plays passing lanes very well, and has a great nose for the bal … Improved his jump shot considerably, known for having a fantastic work ethic … Improvement over the past year has been remarkable and a testament to his work ethic. Shows a great will to improve, by all reports a fantastic kid and considered very coachable… Still very much a work in progress as a complete offensive player … Was not even on team’s radars as a first rounder going into junior season. Begging the question, did he overachieve?”