Going into this summer's draft, many experts believed that Victor Oladipo was among the safest picks, and the Orlando Magic must have agreed.
Despite the question marks about his shooting ability and size, Oladipo is sure to give the Orlando Magic, a team that ranked 24th in the league in points allowed last season, a crucial boost on the defensive end of the floor next season and for years to come.
While the 21-year-old's athleticism and explosiveness will serve him well on the offensive end of the floor as a rookie, his motor, toughness and physicality are the traits that will set him apart on the defensive end (via Orlando Magic):
"My defense is everything to me. It's the reason that I got here ... I'm definitely going to bring that to the Magic program." @VicOladipo— Orlando Magic (@Orlando_Magic) June 28, 2013
Oladipo emerged as a big-time game-changing player last season as a junior with the Hoosiers. The 6'4" 2-guard averaged 13.6 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game while shooting a remarkable 60 percent from the field and 44 percent from beyond the arc..
While Oladipo's shooting numbers will no doubt come back down to earth at the next level, his defensive instincts will allow him to impact the game night in and night out around the perimeter.
Who would you have taken at No. 2 if you were the Magic?
Just what the doctor ordered for Orlando.
The Magic ranked 16th in the league last season in opponent three-point percentage, allowing opponents to hit at a clip of 36 percent from distance. But Orlando was even worse in opponent field-goal percentage, ranking 22nd in the NBA and allowing teams to shoot over 46 percent from the floor while scoring over 101 points per night.
Individually, Oladipo can't turn those figures around. But his leadership on the defensive end and ability to set the tone for the rest of the team will ultimately make Orlando a much-improved defensive squad.
Magic players will have no other option but to match Oladipo's energy and intensity in practice each day and over the course of the regular season.
While Orlando could have drafted a pure scorer in Ben McLemore, the Magic opted to take arguably the safest player available in Oladipo, a defensive stud who will make an immediate impact on that side of the floor next season.
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