Victor Oladipo says he'd be 'comfortable' as a point guard
When NBA scouts evaluated Victor Oladipo as a prospect in the 2013 NBA Draft, they worried a bit about his size as a shooting guard and his fit in offensive schemes if his three-point shooting regressed. Although the Orlando Magic already have Jameer Nelson on their roster at the point guard position, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports suggested that Oladipo was primed to get "major run" as a PG during summer league play. Joshua Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel followed up on the report with the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, and Oladipo said he'd be comfortable running the point.
Oladipo on playing some PG: "I'm a guard. So whatever guard position they want me to run, I feel really comfortable running it."— Josh Robbins (@JoshuaBRobbins) July 5, 2013
More Oladipo: "I pretty much did the same thing at Indiana. I ran some 1 there. I'll do whatever they want me to do in order to help us win"— Josh Robbins (@JoshuaBRobbins) July 5, 2013
Summer league is a time for teams to experiment, but SB Nation's Magic blog, Orlando Pinstriped Post, explored the issue earlier in the week, and found there is very little evidence that Oladipo can play the point guard position in the NBA. In the piece, they note that Oladipo actually produced more turnovers (203) than assists (175) during his tenure at Indiana, and his weak left hand often limited his options on angles of penetration.
Here's a bit more from that feature, which ultimately strikes a more positive tone about Oladipo's potential:
There are some encouraging things about Orlando giving Oladipo run at point. In his junior season, Indiana head coach Tom Crean trusted Oladipo much more as an initiator of the Hoosiers offense. 20 percent of his possessions came off isolations or in pick-and-roll sets, according to DraftExpress. He showed glimpses of promise, particularly in pick-and-roll sets. Check out this pass to Cody Zeller on the side pick-and-roll. He sets the defense up with a left-to-right hesitation crossover. That crossover sends his defender right into Zeller's screen. Zeller's man hedges too hard and Oladipo has the ability to slip a two-handed bounce pass to the rolling big man which leads to an easy bucket on a cut from the baseline.
Oladipo's one of the hardest-working guys I've ever watched and I saw him develop from a dude with complete raw athleticism to the no. 2 pick in the NBA Draft. Mostly every team was impressed with his workouts which suggests to me that he's been tightening his handle over the summer. I really don't think he can play point guard, but there's really no reason that the Magic can't give it a shot during the Summer League.
For more on the Magic, be sure to visit Orlando Pinstriped Post.
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