Victor Oladipo is in the conversation to be the 2013 NBA Draft's top pick, according to ESPN's Chad Ford, after being much lower on most NBA draft boards heading into his junior season with the Indiana Hoosiers. At worst, it seems, Oladipo won't slide out of the top five when the draft commences later this month.
Oladipo, a 6'4 swingman known best for his defense and athleticism, is currently projected to be the second-overall pick in SB Nation's 2013 NBA mock draft. Our own Jonathan Tjarks has him ranked a much-lower ninth on his big board, but justified Oladipo going off the board at the No. 2 pick with the following analysis.
Oladipo is an elite athlete with a high motor who plays with a ton of polish. Given how much he improved during his last season in college, it's hard to put a ceiling on how good he can become at the next level.
That's apparently what the Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando Magic and even the Phoenix Suns think, too, as Ford wrote that a workout between Oladipo and Shabazz Muhammad (scouting report) -- fellow top prospect Ben McLemore (scouting report) was in Phoenix the same day, but declined to work out against his fellow projected lottery picks -- apparently helped cement his status as a top-five pick.
By all accounts the Suns (like just about every other team) were impressed. Sources say that Oladipo has moved into the Cavs' conversation for the No. 1 pick and also is under heavy consideration from the Magic at No. 2. Sounds like it would be a surprise if he goes past the Suns at No. 5.
Whether he goes No. 1, No. 5 or anywhere in between, it seems Oladipo has set himself up very well for a solid NBA career.