Victor Oladipo has little experience at point guard in his basketball career, but the Orlando Magic would be smart to give him a chance at the position for the remainder of the summer league.
The No. 2 pick in the draft split time at both guard spots in his first game with the club. While many should expect strong play off the ball, he was impressive in his time running the offense. He finished with 18 points and seven assists in the contest, the latter of which is more than he ever had in a single game at Indiana.
However, it is not just the numbers that stood out. The skills that he displayed in this opening game were quite encouraging as well.
Oladipo showed off his unselfishness on a fast break when he dished the ball to Moe Harkless for a big dunk.
Of course, his unselfishness was one of the characteristics that people knew about him coming out of college. He was always more than willing to pass up a shot to give an opportunity to a teammate. It was important for him to prove that he can create chances for himself.
He did that in a big way with a strong drive to the basket through traffic, finishing with an impressive layup.
This is something he rarely showed in college. Oladipo was usually more than willing to stay on the perimeter, while Yogi Ferrell did most of the ball-handling. This is what held the junior to only 13.6 points per game despite great skill and a shooting percentage of 59.9 percent.
If he can continue to show the ability that he displayed against the Celtics, the Magic could have a big-time prospect on their hands.
The young player has already stated that he is willing to learn the position, according to Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel:
With a great attitude of helping the team in any way possible, and the willingness to learn how to be better, Oladipo can make himself into one of the best players in the league. This would especially be true when you combine his abilities as an elite on-ball defender.
Now, it is important to note that his performance in the summer league was far from perfect. He had six turnovers in the first game to go with a relatively poor shooting performance, making only five of his 13 shot attempts.
However, these are things you can expect from a player making his first ever appearance with a professional team. Considering his efficiency was one of his best qualities last season, these are things the squad should not be worried about.
The Magic need to continue to see what he can do as a point guard over the next couple of weeks.
With his size, athleticism and shooting ability, he would have a big advantage over most players he goes against—which gives him more value to the team.
While Jameer Nelson put up good numbers last year, it is clear that Orlando needs to find a point guard for the future.
Oladipo can be that player.
It is still unknown if the guard will be able to run an offense over the course of a season. Either way, the Magic need to find out now before the games start counting.
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