Welcome to Orlando, Mr. Oladipo.
Oladipo, who played under Tom Crean at the University of Indiana for two seasons, was the first guard to come off the board, as the Magic decided to take the safest player in this year's class, per ESPN.com’s Chad Ford (subscription required).
GM Rob Hennigan had a difficult decision to make, as both Nerlens Noel and Ben McLemore were available when Orlando was put on the clock. Hennigan has shown the ability to make the right decision in pressure-packed situations, so Magic fans should trust his choice.
At 6'4", Oladipo has the size to be dominant on both ends of the floor. During his time playing collegiate ball, the Indiana product proved to be a consistent stopper. In fact, Oladipo was arguably the best draft-eligible perimeter defender.
Last season, Oladipo averaged 2.17 steals per contest, 32nd in the nation, according to TeamRankings.com. His ability to create turnovers should not diminish at the next level, as Oladipo’s quickness will translate to the NBA.
Are you happy with the decision to draft Oladipo?
At Indiana, Oladipo's shot selection was judicious, as evidenced by his conversation rate of 64.4 percent on two-point field goals during his final season at Indiana. As a whole, Oladipo posted an effective field-goal percentage of 64.8, which led the entire Big Ten.
As a shooting guard, Oladipo will prove to be a major positive on the boards. During his sophomore season, he averaged 6.3 rebounds per game. The Magic finished the season ranked 11th in rebounding, as the presence of Nikola Vucevic made them an above-average squad on the glass.
The addition of Oladipo should be enough to catapult Orlando into the top 10, as the young shooting guard attacks the glass relentlessly. Although being an efficient rebounding team won't steal headlines, it will make the Magic more competitive.
Oladipo's biggest question mark is his jump shot, as he does not always look confident when firing it up. When compared to Ben McLemore, Oladipo's shaky jumper was the one aspect of his game that stood out unfavorably.
The NBA playoffs were exciting this season, as they proved wing players must be competent three-point shooters against elite defenses. In today’s game, it’s imperative to stretch the floor efficiently in order to open up driving lanes to the rim.
Thus, it will be critical for Oladipo to become more of a consistent threat from behind the arc. Fortunately, he will have time to work on his technique before the pressure begins to increase because the Magic have little hope of playing many games with playoff implications next season.
According to ESPN's Chad Ford (subscription required), one of the reasons Oladipo emerged as a favorite of NBA GMs during the draft process was his nonstop motor. The Indiana product did not take possessions off in college, so there’s no reason to think that will change at the NBA level.
For a rebuilding team, Oladipo's effort cannot be overstated, as the Magic will need hardworking young players in order to emerge as a postseason contender once more talent is added to the roster.
The Indiana product will never be the best player on a great team, but his defensive ability and inner drive make him worthy of such a high selection.
While the Magic did have the second overall pick, this year’s class was void of any franchise-changing players. Hennigan made the most of the situation, as Oladipo appears to be a lock to be a solid contributor on a good team.
In the meantime, he will help build the hardworking and team-first culture the Magic have been promoting since the hiring of Jacque Vaughn. Oladipo’s skill set and attitude make him an excellent building block, and he should hold down the shooting guard position for the better part of a decade.
Even though Oladipo doesn’t have the size to play small forward, he has the potential to develop into one of the league’s best all-around shooting guards. Considering the lack of star 2-guards, the emergence of Oladipo would give Orlando a competitive advantage over the majority of the NBA.
The selection of Oladipo also allows Hennigan to continue shopping shooting guard Arron Afflalo, as his services will no longer be needed long term. Afflalo, who is a solid three-point shooter and perimeter defender, still has value around the league.
If he plays his cards right, Hennigan should be able to flip Afflalo for more assets to aid in the rebuilding process. Any move that has the potential to expedite Orlando's re-ascent into relevancy will be considered, which makes the Oladipo addition significant because it gives Hennigan more freedom to shop Afflalo.
While the Magic have a bright future, their fortunes during the 2014 NBA draft will determine how long it will take the franchise to once again become a championship contender.
After Oladipo's selection, a new question arose: Who will be the Batman to Oladipo's Robin?
Hopefully, Orlando will be able to land another top-three pick in next year's draft, as it would allow them to add an offensive phenom like Andrew Wiggins to pair with their newest defensive stopper.