One NBA Draft prospect to watch in the weeks leading up to the June 27th event is Indiana Hoosiers swingman Victor Oladipo, if the latest word from Chad Ford is any indication. "Oladipo is the guy that GMs love in this draft," Ford said in a chat with ESPN readers on Wednesday. "I've talked to 14 or 15 who tell me he's their favorite player."
Ford issued that response because of a fan who asked specifically if the Orlando Magic might select Oladipo with the second overall pick. Ford says he had the Magic taking Trey Burke instead of Oladipo "primarily based on need," but he goes on to say that either Orlando or the Phoenix Suns could be "strong fits" for the junior shooting guard.
In Tobias Harris and Maurice Harkless, the Magic already have two talented young prospects who can play on the perimeter, though Harris may be better suited to play as a power forward. Oladipo may be redundant with Orlando's roster as presently constructed, but coming off a season in which the Magic led the league in losses, Rob Hennigan can't be too picky as he continues his rebuild.
Oladipo enjoyed a breakout season at Indiana, building on his reputation as a hard-nosed, hard-working player while adding to his offensive repertoire. He averaged 13.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 2.2 steals on a remarkable 59.9 percent shooting from the floor. Whether he'll be an effective scorer at the NBA level is an open question.