Shooting Guard, 6’4″, 215 lbs.
21 years old
2012-13 Stats: 13.6 PPG (59.9% FG, 74.8% FT, 44.1% 3FG), 6.3 RPG, 2.1 APG, 2.2 SPG, 0.8 BPG, 2.3 TOPG
STRENGTHS: Known as one of the hardest workers in college basketball, Oladipo skyrocketed up the draft boards after a crazy efficient season on both ends of the floor. His best traits are on the defensive end, where he combines elite level athleticism (a 42 inch max vertical at the combine) with fantastic coverage skills. He averaged 2.2 steals a game and always guarded the opposing teams best player—while he’ll be asked to guard taller, better scorers in the NBA, whichever team drafts Oladipo should be getting a fantastic long-term wing defender.
While he’s best known for his defense, he had an insanely efficient offensive season as well. He shot 59.9% from the field and 44.1% from three—the latter being especially impressive, considering he shot 20.8% his sophomore season. Most impressive was how Oladpio played into Indiana’s offense – he had a sharp 22.6% usage rate and a 15.2% assist rate. His true shooting % was an insane 67.1%, a number normally reserved for very skilled big men.
He’s best in the open floor, where Draftexpress.com notes he had 28% of his used possessions this year. Considering his elite athleticism it isn’t a surprise he likes to run. He isn’t a great passer and his 2.2/2.3 assist/turnover rate is concerning, but he’s a willing passer and fits into the flow of the game. He’s also one of the best rebounders of the two guards in the class with a 12.6% rebounding rate.
WEAKNESSES: While his efficiency on offense was excellent, Oladipo still has a way to go in developing his jump shot. He improved this year, as clear by his 24% growth in three point shooting, but he’ll have to further adjust to the longer three point line and even his midrange game isn’t NBA level yet. His turnover rate (18.5%) is worrying.
The biggest concern for Oladipo is that he doesn’t look like a go-to scorer. His ability to create his own offense was limited at Indiana. He played on one of the nations’ most talented squads and he was excellent in fitting into the system, but as a near-lock for a top 5 pick, NBA teams will demand more of Oladipo than that. He’ll need to become a better long-term scoring threat.
While he has excellent size for the two guard spot and is strong enough and athletic enough with a good enough reach (6’9 wingspan) to compensate against some NBA threes, he should not be expected to guard vastly taller/stronger small forwards (LeBron James, Kevin Durant). Considering the Kings need for a small forward, this is a downer for Sacramento.
HOW HE’D FIT WITH THE KINGS: The Kings already have two starting level SGs (Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton) and one backup SG disguised as a PG (Jimmer Fredette). Selecting Oladipo would certainly signal a break with at least one of those two starters, and perhaps both. Considering his tenacious defense, Oladipo would do wonders with new coach Mike Malone, though, and if he continued to improve his jumper he could become the younger (and shorter) version of Andre Iguadola that Kings fans have been wanting for years.
BRYANT – Absolutely, in a heartbeat. I currently rank Oladipo 4th on my big board, behind Noel, Otto Porter and Ben McLemore. If Oladipo was 3 inches taller, he’d probably be my #2 and perhaps #1 option for the Kings. He’s an elite level defender and by all accounts a tremendous worker. If he could play SF (there are some out there who believe he can, but that is an absurd notion for a 6’4 player) he’d be nearly a perfect fit; as he is, he’d still be a tremendous fit for the Kings current roster, even if he is unlikely to last to No. 7.
SCOTT LEVIN — Yes. Though I’m not as high on Oladipo as most, I see the value in taking him at No. 7 if he’s around. It’s always a plus to add guys like Oladipo to your roster — incredible athletes with high motors who just get after it. I’m less convinced of him ever becoming much on the offensive end; his athleticism is enough to make him useful but not sure he ever becomes a player you can count on for one-on-one offense. But at No. 7 when the Kings are staring at the bottom of the first tier of prospects, Oladipo’s defensive ability — a crazy 6’9″ wingspan could lock up guards — is a bankable trait and one that Michael Malone probably jumps on.
WHERE HE GOES: It seems very unlikely that Oladipo will fall out of the top 5, although stranger things have happened. ESPN’s Chad Ford quotes a few anonymous GMs as saying Oladipo is “their favorite player in the draft”—while Cleveland doesn’t need a SG, Orlando (No. 2), Charlotte (No. 4) and Phoenix (No. 5) all seem fantastic fits. New Orleans could take Oladipo and signal the end of the Eric Gordan experiment (not to mention the abysmal Austin Rivers experiment). Sacramento at No. 7 would seem his floor considering his defensive abilities.