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Victor Oladipo will play point guard in 2013/14, Rob Hennigan confirms

Orlando's general manager said the Magic rookie, who played shooting guard in college, will play both backcourt positions in the NBA.

Rob Hennigan and Victor Oladipo
Rob Hennigan and Victor Oladipo

Speaking to Orlando Magic season ticket-holders at an exclusive event on Thursday, general manager confirmed the team's worst-kept secret: it intends to use first-round NBA Draft choice Victor Oladipo at point guard in his rookie season.

"We see that as the future of the league," Hennigan said.

Hennigan hinted at Oladipo's versatility on Draft night, referring to the second overall selection as simply "a guard" when he met with the media. Two weeks later, in the Orlando Pro Summer League, Orlando made clear its intentions regarding Oladipo's development. There, the 21-year-old, who played primarily shooting guard in his three seasons at Indiana, manned the point for all 130 of his minutes. He went on to lead the team in scoring, assists, and steals, but he also committed a team-worst 4.8 turnovers per game. For perspective, his Pure Point Rating of -4.4 was worse than that of Magic power forward Andrew Nicholson in Nicholson's rookie year.

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But as we know, the game is played between the lines, not on a spreadsheet. Oladipo showed that he could make plays for himself off the dribble, but he struggled to find open teammates outside of drive-and-dump-off situations. The Magic also, by necessity, had to use a slimmed-down version of their playbook in order to accommodate the rookie, who's transitioning to playing the league's most important and complex offensive position.

"I need to cut down on the turnovers," Oladipo said after coughing the ball up five times in a blowout loss to the Miami Heat. "My last name's gonna change from Oladipo to Mr. Turnover Man, so I gotta fix that, definitely."

Oladipo figures to get plenty of minutes at the two in relief of projected starter Arron Afflalo, but don't be surprised to see him spell Jameer Nelson at point guard for extended stretches. Whether he has the skills necessary to make an effective lead guard is an open question, but it's one with which Orlando can afford to take its time answering.

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