SB Nation is posting scouting reports of each prospect in the 2013 NBA Draft. Learn more about Indiana shooting guard Victor Oladipo.
NAME: Victor Oladipo
AGE ON DRAFT NIGHT: 21 years, one month
POSITION: Shooting guard
MEASUREMENTS: 6'4, 213 pounds, 6'9.25 wingspan, 8'4.5 standing reach
|2012 - Victor Oladipo
RELEVANT ADVANCED STATS: With a 2.8 block percentage, Oladipo has the highest block percentage of any guard in this draft.
SB NATION BIG BOARD POSITION: No. 9
NBA CEILING: Andre Iguodala
NBA FLOOR: Avery Bradley
JONATHAN TJARKS' ANALYSIS
Victor Oladipo is the poster child for how much a player can develop in college. If he had declared for the draft last season, he would have been a fringe first-round prospect. As a junior, he transformed his game, adding an outside shot and assuming a far bigger role in the Indiana offense. This season, he averaged 14 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals a game on 60 percent from the field, 44 percent from 3-point range and 75 percent from the free throw line.
At 6'4 and 215 pounds with a 6'9 wingspan, he has the length and athleticism to match up with both backcourt positions. The rare young perimeter player who takes pride in his defense, Oladipo could be an All-Defensive team selection relatively early in his career.
His upside will depend on his offensive game. While he has made tremendous strides on that side of the ball, he's still fairly unrefined as a playmaker off the dribble. His jumper has become more effective, but he still only took 1.9 3-pointers a game this season.
Given how much he improved in the last season, it's hard to put a ceiling for how good he can become, although few guards develop into a first option once they get to the NBA. Oladipo's ability to impact every facet of the game will make him a valuable piece for any team. As an elite athlete with a high motor who plays with a ton of polish, he is one of the safest picks in the lottery.
DRAFT EXPRESS SCOUTING REPORT
OTHER SB NATION SCOUTING REPORTS
The way Oladipo scores makes him a particularly exciting prospect. He gets to the rim eight times every 40 minutes. Tony Wroten is the only guard with a higher rate in the past three years. He isn't dependent on others to get there either as he is only assisted on 38 percent of his makes.
The biggest question mark with Oladipo is his shooting. It seems weird to worry about the shooting of a guy who just posted 43 percent from three, but as I noted above, shooting can be very noisy and Dipo has two previous years of miserable shooting casting their shadow on his 2013 success. Across his freshman and sophomore seasons, Oladipo shot 24 percent from three and 24 percent on mid-range jumpers. The narrative is that he worked hard to improve his shot during the offseason and the diligence paid off ... but that is always the narrative. Oladipo deserves early lottery consideration regardless of how real his recent sniping is, but if scouts can say he really has figured out how to shoot he should be a lock for the top three.
Defending is where Oladipo is strongest right now. He uses his superior gifts and hellacious motor to deflect and defend anything that comes his way. In a game against Green Bay this season, Oladipo had 22 deflections, which the most that Tom Crean has observed since Dwyane Wade suited up for his Marquette teams. This lines up with his Big Ten leading 2.2 steals per game, along with nearly a block per game. He has quick feet to go along with his hands, making him a tough matchup for any opponent. Nearly impossible to get by, Oladipo is a defensive dynamo that truly has potential to be the among the best wing perimeter defenders in the NBA.
Victor Oladipo is as close to the total package as a shooting guard as I have seen in many years. He's explosive, ultra-athletic, a lock-down perimeter defender, and a very good rebounder. He also has the highest motor of any prospect, and is the clutchest as well. In fact, the only things I can legitimately list as weaknesses are his passing, which still isn't bad, and his jump shooting, which he improved considerably this season and turned into one of his strengths in my opinion. The only player I would strongly consider taking over Oladipo is Noel, and even then, I can't say I'm 100 percent on board with that decision. V.O. has been shooting up the mocks lately, and deservedly so. My fear is that he may already be gone by the time the Suns pick if Phoenix doesn't end up drafting in the top three.
As far as comparisons go, some analysts, including ESPN's Chad Ford, say that Oladipo has a little Dwyane Wade in him. I don't really see that comparison, as Wade's range of scoring when he was at Marquette far exceeds Oladipo's. Oladipo reminds me more of Tony Allen. Both are active defensive stoppers who thrive on the offensive glass. However, Oladipo's 44.1-percent shooting from downtown is much better than Allen ever had at Oklahoma State.
Oladipo isn't going to be a star in the league but he has the potential to become one of the NBA's best perimeter defenders. And his continuing progress on the offensive end has to excite whatever team decides to select him. He's a hard-working player with explosive athleticism and a willingness to improve his game.
What made Oladipo a good player wasn't his offense. It was his energy and ability to shut guys down. He has the potential to be the best perimeter in the league. His offense, I don't know. I don't think he'll be able to hit the NBA three ball his first few years in the league. But if he can, or if he can learn to, he'll be fantastic.
If not for Nerlens Noel, Oladipo would be the most exciting player in this year's draft. He's an explosive and creative finisher around the rim, making him deadly in transition and off-ball cuts. However, his ball-handling is rather weak, making him both ineffective and turnover-prone when he takes it to the rim in half-court sets. Oladipo, whose jumper was nothing if not completely broken in his sophomore year (20.8-percent shooting from beyond the arc), has markedly improved his shooting from beyond the arc shooting 44 percent this year. The defensive end is where Oladipo will find his place in the NBA, though. The 6'5 shooting guard has 215-pound frame and terrorizes his opponents with a style that is reminiscent of Tony Allen's.
Whichever team drafts Oladipo can be certain it is getting at minimum a lock-down perimeter defender than can contribute immediately off the bench. That may seem like a low bar for a high lottery pick, but Oladipo's floor is actually relatively high in an era when lottery picks routinely bust (a fact Wizards fans are all too aware).
Oladipo also has a pretty high ceiling, though it's doubtful he'll ever be a "franchise" type player. At his best, Oladipo will be an All-NBA defender who wreaks havoc out on the break, cutting to the basket, and spotting up for corner threes. He will probably never be a go-to scorer or a player who initiates offense, but he could end up as a shorter version of Shawn Marion.
Victor Oladipo, winner of the Sporting News Player of the Year and the NABC Defensive Player of the Year, is one of the top talents in the upcoming NBA draft. However, there remain several concerns that demonstrate, offensively, he isn't nearly as polished as say Otto Porter or Trey Burke.
First, many wonder whether his efficient production is sustainable. It's already been mentioned above the dramatic improvement he displayed from his sophomore to junior season. However, few fail to take into account a decline in many of his numbers through the course of his breakout season, when the schedule usually strengthens:
He's also notorious for being a gym rat. That's a common tag attached to many prospects and in turn it's difficult to determine who the hardest workers actually are. Well, Oladipo is among the hardest workers in this year's NBA Draft. After barely missing what seemed like an impossible alley-oop, Oladipo told reporters that he needed to do more squats. He wasn't joking.
And that's the thing about Oladipo. He works hard and the results of his hard work are apparent, but his improvement almost seems too good to be true. He shot just 20.8 percent from behind the 3-point line during his sophomore year. His 3-point field goal percentage shot up over 20 percentage points in one season. He did average 1.9 attempts per game, however, and it's no secret that Oladipo worked on his shot. But a 20 percent increase in one season? Seems fishy to me.
For more coverage, visit SB Nation's NBA Draft 2013 section.