2013 NBA Draft: Why the Washington Wizards Should Draft Victor Oladipo

Matt SchreiberAnalyst IIIJune 3, 2013

Mar 9, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Hoosiers guard Victor Oladipo (4) reacts after making a basket and getting fouled by the Wisconsin Badgers during the second half of the second round of 2012 Big Ten Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Wisconsin defeated Indiana 79-71.  Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Trailblazers selected Sam Bowie with the No. 2 pick in the 1984 NBA Draft over Michael Jordan because they already had Clyde Drexler. This was quite possibly the biggest mistake in the history of sports.

The Washington Wizards held the No. 3 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft and selected shooting guard Bradley Beal. As the 2013 NBA Draft approaches, they will be selecting in the same position with another talented shooting guard available on the board. 

Enter Victor Oladipo, Consensus All-American and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. Oladipo is 6'4" and has an attacking mentality. In my opinion, he's the best player available in the draft. 

I won't forget about the pre-2012 NCAA basketball season draft boards, where nobody had Oladipo in their top 30. It boggled my mind to see Christian Watford ranked ahead of Oladipo by most draft experts.

Cleveland holds the first pick and will likely be taking a big man. The Orlando Magic will be selecting at No. 2 with their sights likely on a point guard. 

The Wizards are in need of a guy to fill the three position, or small forward, and Georgetown small forward Otto Porter has come into the conversation for the pick. The more I watch Oladipo's tape, however, the more I can't envision the Wizards passing up on his dynamic skill set. Plus, Porter desperately needs to work on his dribbling.

When I watch Oladipo, the only flaw I see in his game is his outside shot, but that has improved, and can continue to improve with a lot of practice. Doesn't that somewhat remind you of what critics were saying about Michael Jordan coming out of college?

Jordan was viewed by many as a talented shooting guard who lacked the supreme outside shot ability. We all know what happened after that. He became a six-time NBA champion, six-time NBA Finals MVP, five-time NBA MVP, and 14-time NBA All-Star. He also won Rookie of the Year in 1985.

Here is a Jordan-esque dunk by Oladipo on March 15, 2013, at home against Illinois.

What impresses me most about Oladipo is his defensive skill-set. He was hands down the best defender in all of college basketball last year. If it weren't for poor tournament performances by Cody Zeller and Jordan Hulls, there was a solid chance Indiana could've won it all.

But all of that doesn't matter right now. It's rare that an NCAA tournament winner becomes an NBA champion. Whatever happened in college is pretty much invalid at this point.

Oladipo is clearly NBA-ready and is my pre-season favorite for Rookie of the Year, no matter which team he ends up on. He is simply a game changer with an appetite for the basket and victory. Victor and victory go hand in hand. 

But the Wizards must be wise and bring Oladipo to D.C. They already have two solid big men in Emeka Okafor and Nene. Running out a lineup of John Wall, Beal, Oladipo, Okafor and Nene sounds pretty attractive to me.

Wizards general manager Ernie Grunfeld has not had success drafting players aside from Wall and Beal. In fact, Wall, Beal, Jan Vesely and Chris Singleton are the only players Grunfeld drafted that are currently on the team.

Vesely may be the biggest disappointment out there. He was selected as the sixth overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft and does not show any signs of being a legitimate force at the three position any time in the near future. He just isn't strong enough and is an extreme liability on defense. 

In 2009, the Wizards traded the No. 5 pick in the draft to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Randy Foye and Mike Miller, both of whom are no longer with the team. 

Grunfeld will have a chance to redeem himself by selecting the best player in the draft, Oladipo, assuming he is available at the No. 3 pick on June 27.

I know it's pretty early to say it, but I really think Oladipo could have a Hall of Fame-type career.