The Upper Marlboro born rookie joined the Orlando Magic this off-season when he was drafted with the 2nd Overall Pick. He decided to play with the pros following his junior season with the Indiana Hoosiers. His performance in the Orlando Summer League showed that he has the potential to lead the Magic back to the playoff race. But what makes Oladipo such a special player?
Many analysts (and fans too) believe that he might be the best prospect of this year’s draft class because his game has shown a lot of improvement throughout the years. The desire and willingness he has to improve and his hard-working mentality will probably take his game to another level. For example, his 3-point shooting percentage improved greatly from one season to another (from 20% to 44%). This clearly demonstrates his hunger to become better every single season. He knows that when he is not practicing, someone else is. The Indiana University former won’t let this happen; you will always find him in the gym either taking shots or weight-lifting. Rob Hennigan, the Orlando Magic GM, decided to draft Victor partly because of his work ethic. His game fits perfectly with the Magic’s system and their rebuilding process. Moreover, the organization wanted to draft a player who shared the culture of the franchise.
Although he is always striving to be the best, he is already one of the best at what he does. John Beilein (coach of Michigan University) noted, “I’ve seen a lot of players. I don’t know whether I’ve seen one quicker or faster, more athletic, than Oladipo. It’s tough to stay in front of him. His offensive proficiency improved as his outside shooting range improved each year of his collegiate career.” His aggressiveness to get to the rim will leave you in awe (Warning: after you watch him dunk, there’s a chance you start shouting uncontrollably and go insane). His shot isn’t one of his strengths, but you can’t afford to let him take a wide-open shot. Victor has great court vision too, as he is constantly trying to find open teammates to score. And last but not least, whenever he dunks, runs a fast-break, or jumps to get a rebound, he will show you that his body has been gifted by God. Oladipo’s athleticism has been perfectly explained by Clark Kellogg (former NBA player), “Victor Oladipo is like a baby’s bottom, smooth and sometimes…explosive.” His vertical leap and hustle plays will make you get off your seat. However, the Magic rookie is mostly known for his ability to defend. He will not be shy when guarding big players; he is a fierce and savvy defender.
“Orlandipo” has been compared to Michael Jordan many times (take it easy, don’t throw your phone/laptop against the wall). This might sound crazy and disrespectful and you may even be asking yourself how is this guy being compared to one of the greatest (or the greatest) players of all time. Well, the answer is simple: Michael was not such a beast when he played in college and he was similar to Oladipo in many efficiency stats, like effective field goal percentage. The way they both use their bodies and defense to create offense can be surprisingly similar. Getting selected with the 3rd Pick, Air Jordan’s scoring was not other-worldly in college, but he quickly proved he had what it takes to be a scoring machine. Therefore, as Oladipo’s game is developing fast, we can say that up to now…he has what it takes to become an All-Star. His love for the game is evidently unmeasurable and from his point of view, the sky’s the limit. However, only time will tell if he is going to be His Airness, Jr.