Victor Oladipo has been one of the hottest names in the NBA draft circuit lately as he’s wowing scouts and NBA GMs with his tremendous athletic abilities along with his work ethic and character. Despite all of Oladipo’s statistics at Indiana, his elite athleticism and his high character he does come with quite a few of buyer beware aspects in regards his game.
The first would be his size. Oladipo was listed at 6’5 during his time with Indiana but at the combine he measured at just 6’3 and 1/4 without shoes; very short for an NBA two guard. Granted someone could argue his length and athleticism would compensate for that in the NBA but one has to wonder how effective he will be defensively against the bigger two guards in the league such as Paul George, Kobe Bryant or even Joe Johnson.
Then there’s Oladipo’s ceiling. Yes he has borderline superstar potential but at the same time there’s also a realistic chance that his ceiling stops at Tony Allen who happens to be his best NBA comparison at the moment. No disrespect towards Allen but the Suns need a big difference maker right now and a Tony Allen type player isn’t exactly what someone would call a cornerstone player.
At last there’s his offensive game. Oladipo’s current offensive game is predicated more upon his tremendous athleticism than his skilled play. His handles are average at best, his jump shot is borderline average as well, and his passing ability is also a question mark.
There’s no doubt in my mind Oladipo will be in the league 10-years from now but the Suns history of drafting average or even below average players with high picks certainly presents couple of red flags. Case in point, Neal Walk (second overall), Corky Calhoun (fourth overall), John Shumate (fourth overall), and Armon Gilliam (second overall).
Although Oladipo comes with a few risks, he does come with rewards. With Oladipo’s athleticism, work ethic, and high character, if he’s able and willing to put forth the extra hours in the gym chances are that he’ll be able to develop an offensive game. His handles, and his jump shooting are the two biggest question marks for him right now. Keep in mind even though his draft report reads “Improved shooter”, the same was written on Kendall Marshall’s draft report last draft and we all know how that one went.
With the NBA draft taking place in less than a month, Suns GM Ryan McDonough and the Suns front office has a lot to figure out. This draft has a relatively shallow pool of talented players as it is so the Suns could very well end up drafting Oladipo. If they do, Planet Orange, hold your breaths don’t count the eggs before they hatch.