It's been a little over a week since Indiana Hoosiers guard Victor Oladipo was drafted #2 overall by Orlando. It's time for 'Dipo to put on a Magic uniform (or at least an offseason version of one) and show his new fan base what he can do. On Friday, Victor got to show off his 3-point shooting stroke during Summer League practice. Also, you can just see in his body movement that he's hyper and pumped to ball with his teammates.
The Magic have 18 players on their Southwest Airlines Orlando Pro Summer League roster. That's a lot, enough to field two separate squads basically. One team could be all free agents, and the other one would have the likes of Tobias Harris, Maurice Harkless, Oladipo, Andrew Nicholson, Kyle O'Quinn, #51 selection Romero Osby, DeQuan Jones, and Doron Lamb. Orlando is playing games Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. Day off Wednesday. Then play again Thursday with the 'championship day' on Friday.
So you can see certain players having days off, and it really does open up the chance to experiment. Which is why numerous media outlets have confirmed that Oladipo will get some action at point guard. The new #5 seems prepared and ready to take on all challenges. Now is the pristine time to fully test Victor's workload capabilities. I'd much prefer seeing Victor be appointed starting shooting guard. Some are already predicting impending doom with the 'Dipo PG experiment. He has the speed and quickness to defend point guards. But to run an offense? Can't be worse than Chris Duhon, right? I just don't want to undergo Reece Gaines or Jerryl Sasser flashbacks.
So what's the end game to the Magic front office being so up front in almost promoting this endeavor with Victor at point guard? Well, here are all the options and reasons I can come up with in my head.
1. Oladipo plays PG, but Tobias Harris runs the show as a Point Forward
This is the best, and most craftiest theory in my eyes. Hedo Turkoglu may be out the door for good, but not the Magic's ability to have a forward running ball-handling responsibilities. Possibly. The time is ticking on Jameer's tennure in a Magic jersey. He's most likely going to be dealt before this upcoming Trade Deadline. But what if Orlando wants to hold on to Arron Afflalo as a starting shooting guard? Well then give Oladipo a shot. We know he can play shooting guard, see how versatile the 21-year-old truly can be while discreetly not handing him the keys to the offense. In just a few short months, we noticed that Tobias has some legitimate handles. If Carmelo Anthony can play PG and floor general, I know Harris can as well...at a more efficient rate even.
2. Oladipo's PG time limited only to Summer League to boost Afflalo's trade value
Until Eric Bledsoe was traded to Phoenix, everyone thought the Magic had a great chance at acquiring the young guard in a transaction that would include Afflalo. The Clippers also nabbed JJ Redick in their 3-way transaction with the Suns and Bucks. So they don't have a need for Afflalo. The Magic's front office is now back at the drawing board as far as what do they do with Arron. He's a great 3rd or 4th scoring option, but failed last season as a go-to scorer. So how do you rebuild Arron's trade value? Make it appear like he's a shoe-in to be your starter next season. Which is what Orlando is hinting by giving Victor court time as a point guard.
3. It really is just an experiment and we're blowing things way out of proportion
Well that's no fun. You mean to tell me I should look into all those other guards the Magic invited to training camp? What if Victor fails miserably and his confidence gets shaken for all of eternity? What if my creeping thoughts of doubt come to fruition and I have to point a finger at Hennigan or Vaughn?
4. The Magic see Oladipo as Russell Westbrook but without a terrible wardrobe
Jameer's replacement is right in front of us! Who needs Bledsoe when Oladipo is an even better athlete?! Hennigan witnessed in person what Westbrook has become. Maybe the telltale signs are indicating in Rob's mind that Victor can be Russ...but with better singing talents and being a sharper dresser. College statistics and highlight reels seem to produce evidence that this is highly unlikely. On a brighter side, I can safely say Oladipo is a better dribbler than Afflalo. Victor is about to be 'thrown into the fire' and he'll have his high basketball IQ and nerves tested. All I know is I'm excited to see this guy ball in person.