All offseason, NBA fans and analysts have shown their excitement for Orlando Magic rookie Victor Oladipo, and if you don't believe me, check out the collection of stories in the insert below. His play even excites his fellow rookies and the league's general managers, the latter group having picked him to win Rookie of the Year.
But there's at least one analyst with a more measured take on Oladipo. SB Nation's Jonathan Tjarks, in handicapping the forthcoming race for Rookie of the Year honors, placed Oladipo not first, not second, not third, not fourth, not fifth, but sixth. Tjarks explains:
I'm surprised Oladipo has been pegged as the odds-on favorite to win Rookie of the Year. The immediate problem is playing time. Arron Afflalo, Orlando's best player, is entrenched at shooting guard. Jameer Nelson, the team's highest-paid and longest-tenured player, is at point guard. Tobias Harris and Maurice Harkless, both of whom showed flashes of greatness last season, will take minutes on the wings.
Ultimately, Tjarks says, Oladipo can contribute immediately, but only as "an effective reserve," and even that assessment is contingent on Oladipo maintaining his hot three-point shooting from his junior season at Indiana.
The five players Tjarks ranked ahead of Oladipo in the Rookie of the Year chase are Cody Zeller, Trey Burke, Michael Carter-Williams, Ben McLemore, and Kelly Olynyk. Orlando picked Oladipo second overall in June's Draft, ahead of all five of those players and only behind Anthony Bennett.