Is Victor Oladipo an NBA superstar or safety net?

June 25, 2013
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Victor Oladipo’s rise has certainly been meteoric. Twelve months ago, IU followers were wondering what his potential was as a college player. After two years in Bloomington, it wasn’t clear if the man from Maryland would ever be anything more than an ace defender.

This month, NBA general managers are trying to decide if the Indiana graduate (he earned his diploma in three years) is the No. 1 pick in Thursday’s draft.

To those who have followed Oladipo’s career closely, it all seems a little crazy. He wasn’t even considered the best player on his high school team and was overshadowed a good part of the last two years by IU teammate Cody Zeller.

Zeller is in this draft, too, but no one is talking about him as a top pick. He’s scarcely mentioned as a top five possibility. (He’s projected somewhere between No. 7 and No. 12).

“It may be a bit of a surprise, but in polling them, one constant theme I heard from NBA general managers is that Oladipo is our favorite player in the draft,” said Chad Ford, ESPN college basketball analyst.

But is Oladipo really that good? Is he a future NBA superstar? Or a safety net?

He may be both.

While some NBA executives say it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Oladipo will be selected with the overall No. 1 pick, they’re not going all-in with this bet. Ford thinks the allure of a big man will induce Cleveland to select Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel first, despite the fact that he’s battling a knee injury. Maryland center Alex Len is another big man that could go No. 1.

Still, said Ford, there’s lots to like about Oladipo. He has a 42-inch vertical leap, a 6-foot-9-inch wing span and blazing speed. While his jump shot still needs work, most agree he’s the best defender in this draft. Draft prognosticators seem to think he’ll go no lower than No. 4 to Charlotte or No. 5 to Phoenix.

“He’s [general managers'] favorite because they don’t see him failing in the NBA,” Ford said. “[Oladipo] may be the safest pick in the draft of the top six picks in the draft right now. He’s an elite athlete. He’s already going to be an elite defender on the perimeter.”

But that’s not all.

“He improved dramatically his junior season at Indiana,” Ford added. “He improved his jump shot and his ball handling. He’s such a hard worker. I think people think he’s going to get it and become an elite player at some point in his career.”

Ford isn’t the only one raving about Oladipo as the draft approaches.

Tom Penn, the former vice president of basketball operations for the Portland Trailblazers, said the more time NBA general managers spend with Oladipo, the higher his stock rises.

“He becomes your favorite player when you meet him, when you get to know him as a person,” said Penn, who also works as an ESPN analyst. “The interview process … is a huge part of this. You have to interview with these players, look them eyeball to eyeball. And this kid is the real deal.”

There's little doubt, general managers said, that Oladipo is going to max out his potential.

“So then, the question is, how high is his ceiling?” Penn said.

Penn’s next proclamation may seem even crazier than the thought of Oladipo going No. 1 in this year’s draft.

“It may very well be [his potential is] just as high as this player [Oladipo] gets compared to, and that’s Dwyane Wade,” Penn said. “That’s a bold statement. Nobody thought this about Wade back then. It’s what’s inside. You have to work your tail off. This kid is a worker. He’s got a big, big chance.”  

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this blog

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
  1. Looking at the two companies - in spite of their relative size to one another -- Ricker's image is (by all accounts) pretty solid and reputable. Their locations are clean, employees are friendly and the products they offer are reasonably priced. By contrast, BP locations are all over the place and their reputation is poor, especially when you consider this is the same "company" whose disastrous oil spill and their response was nothing short of irresponsible should tell you a lot. The fact you also have people who are experienced in franchising saying their system/strategy is flawed is a good indication that another "spill" has occurred and it's the AM-PM/Ricker's customers/company that are having to deal with it.

  2. Daniel Lilly - Glad to hear about your points and miles. Enjoy Wisconsin and Illinois. You don't care one whit about financial discipline, which is why you will blast the "GOP". Classic liberalism.

  3. Isn't the real reason the terrain? The planners under-estimated the undulating terrain, sink holes, karst features, etc. This portion of the route was flawed from the beginning.

  4. You thought no Indy was bad, how's no fans working out for you? THe IRl No direct competition and still no fans. Hey George Family, spend another billion dollars, that will fix it.

  5. I live downtown Indy and had to be in downtown Chicago for a meeting. In other words, I am the target demographic for this train. It leaves at 6:00-- early but doable. Then I saw it takes 5+ hours. No way. I drove. I'm sure I paid 3 to 5 times as much once you factor in gas, parking, and tolls, but it was reimbursed so not a factor for me. Any business traveler is going to take the option that gets there quickly and reliably... and leisure travelers are going to take the option that has a good schedule and promotional prices (i.e., Megabus). Indy to Chicago is the right distance (too short to fly but takes several hours to drive) that this train could be extremely successful even without subsidies, if they could figure out how to have several frequencies (at least 3x/day) and make the trip in a reasonable amount of time. For those who have never lived on the east coast-- Amtrak is the #1 choice for NY-DC and NY-Boston. They have the Acela service, it runs almost every hour, and it takes you from downtown to downtown. It beats driving and flying hands down. It is too bad that we cannot build something like this in the midwest, at least to connect the bigger cities.

ADVERTISEMENT