Victor Oladipo's NBA draft status has gone from potential sleeper to must-have prospect.
He has transformed himself from a raw athlete to a two-way offensive threat and now fits the mold of a reliable rotational off-guard.
Teams interested in Oladipo's services will most likely need some spark of life in the backcourt on both sides of the ball.
We project Oladipo to land somewhere in the late lottery to mid-first round. Let's take a look at the three best potential landing spots for Victor Oladipo in the 2013 NBA draft.
The Atlanta Hawks will get two first-round picks, one of which they acquired in the Joe Johnson trade last summer.
Lou Williams recently went down with an ACL tear, and though he's expected to be ready for training camp, he's just a one-dimensional scorer. Devin Harris will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, which means the Hawks need off-guard help.
Many of the teams projected to draft from No. 5 to the back of the lottery won't be in the market for another shooting guard. It's possible that Oladipo will be available around pick No. 15, where Atlanta would be making its first selection.
With Josh Smith likely on the way out and the opposite wing consisting of Kyle Korver and Anthony Morrow, the Hawks could use Oladipo's speed and athleticism.
Jeff Teague and Oladipo would pack an athletic punch and present defenses with the challenge of denying two strong drivers.
Oladipo's ability to attack the rim from the wing and change direction on the way leads to a few easy baskets the Hawks could use in the half court.
The Philadelphia 76ers will be projected to select at the back end of the 2013 lottery, a likely range that Oladipo will get snagged in.
With Jason Richardson out nine to 12 months after knee surgery and Nick Young not a starting-caliber shooting guard, the Sixers have a gaping hole in the backcourt.
Jrue Holiday and Victor Oladipo would make for a backcourt that encompasses an array of different skills that are all seemingly complementary. While Holiday tends to dominate the basketball, Oladipo thrives as a slasher who doesn't require many dribbles to be effective.
Oladipo has also increased his three-point percentage dramatically, tripling his makes per game and raising his percentage from 20.8 percent to 52.4 percent.
Philadelphia's offense needs a finisher. According to John Hollinger's formula, this team ranks No. 27 in the NBA in offensive efficiency. Oladipo's most glowing strength is his ability to finish around the basket.
He's averaging 14.3 points on 64.4 percent shooting. Those are numbers typical of a dominant seven-footer—not a shooting guard.
Oladipo is able to finish so efficiently because of his fearless attacking at the rim, elite level of athleticism and upward explosiveness as a leaper. Observe:
The Minnesota Timberwolves will get a pick somewhere in the mid-to-late lottery and should be targeting Oladipo now in February, four months prior to the draft.
Oladipo possesses almost all the skills and qualities that Minnesota lacks from its backcourt: reliability, athleticism, perimeter defense and a guard who can finish at the rim.
With a full-strength starting lineup that includes Rubio, Ridnour, Andrei Kirilenko, Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic, Oladipo could step in at the 2-spot and immediately become the top athlete of the five.
Minnesota doesn't exactly have a very secure perimeter. Ricky Rubio, Alexey Shved, J.J. Barea and Luke Ridnour isn't a core that's going to keep some of the quicker and stronger guards from getting into the paint.
Oladipo is every scorer's nightmare—a human shadow that nobody can seem to shake. His lateral quickness is off the charts. Take a look at how alert and quick he is moving side to side:
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