If every rookie from the 2013 NBA Draft maxed out his potential, which player would rank at the top? ESPN Insider analyst David Thorpe tackled that question Friday, and his assessment is kind to Orlando Magic rookie Victor Oladipo.
"Few players can defend point guards and shooting guards equally well, but [Oladipo] has a great chance to be one of those guys, thanks to his powerful frame, quick feet and long arms," says Thorpe of Orlando's star rookie. "He's just now learning how to be a good shooter, too, after only really looking for the 3-point shot in his last season at Indiana." The ESPN analyst praises Oladipo for having elite potential in several skill areas, including "work ethic" and "explosive athleticism." Those myriad skills will enable him to succeed in any system and for any franchise.
Oladipo is averaging 13.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, four assists, and 1.6 steals per game and has captured two Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month awards. Philadelphia 76ers point guard Michael Carter-Williams won the other two monthly rookie honors out East, and Thorpe ranks him fourth on this list.
Thorpe ranks only Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and Cleveland Cavaliers forward Anthony Bennett ahead of Oladipo, whom Orlando picked with the second overall selection in 2013 after Cleveland chose Bennett first. Thorpe believes Bennett has the potential to approach Kevin Love's productivity. Antetokounmpo, meanwhile, has the most potential of any current NBA rookie because the league plays at a pace and with a style that favors his gifts.
Which rookie do you think has the most potential? What do you make of Thorpe's assessment of Oladipo? Let's hear it in the comments.