Gerald Herbert/Associated Press
Only a handful of rookies in 2013-14 made some noise in the first half, and Orlando Magic guard Victor Oladipo was one of them. Unlike many of the top 2014 draftees, it looks like he was worth the high selection.
He's the real deal as a combo guard. Although he frequently suffers growing pains as a playmaker, there's a lot to be excited about for the rest of 2014 and beyond.
Oladipo is still learning many of the nuances of being a point guard, but he can still initiate effective offense by utilizing high ball screens and penetrating to the paint. He's an unselfish youngster who does a good job of keeping his teammates involved, even if he's not a prolific passer.
When he's not running the point, Oladipo sets up on the wing and operates as a capable shooter (37 percent on spot-up threes according to Synergy Sports, subscription required) and a dangerous slasher.
Defensively, Oladipo makes his presence felt during every game. It's readily apparent that Orlando plays better defense when his speed, instincts and intelligence are on the floor.
The Magic will spend the rest of 2013-14 grooming their young talent and creating chemistry to build upon in the future. Consequently, Oladipo will continue to see heavy minutes, whether he's a reserve or a starter. Expect him to give Michael Carter-Wiliams a serious run at Rookie of the Year honors.
Dan O'Brien covers the NBA for Bleacher Report.
Follow him on Twitter: @DanielO_BR