Mar 28, 2013; Washington, D.C., USA; Indiana Hoosiers guard Victor Oladipo (4) dribbles in the second half against the Syracuse Orange during the semifinals of the East regional of the 2013 NCAA tournament at the Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Draft Prospects: Victor Oladipo

My favorite draft breakdowns involve numbers, skepticism and narratives questioning narratives. That’s pretty much exactly how vjl110 at Canis Hoopus rolls. He makes an excellent case for Victor Oladipo as a top 3 prospect, starting out by comparing him favorably to Josh Howard — who was lost to injury this year and should have been in a Wolves uniform all along. As vjl110 points out, you can’t ignore the way he gets to the rack, but you can question the shooting improvement. Even if you do so at your own peril.

(Mwahahahahahahahaaaaa….)

The comparison model spits out some pretty attractive potentialities for Oladipo. Not only that, but he actually scores better than any of them on the wins model (Augmon comes the closest at 8.8). Taking a closer look at the Howard comparison we can see why:

2PA 2P% 3PA 3P% FTA FT% ORB DRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
Howard

11.5

56%

3.5

34%

4.4

67%

4.7

6.0

2.9

2.2

1.3

3.0

4.0

19.2

Oladipo

9.1

64%

2.6

43%

4.9

73%

3.6

5.2

2.9

3.1

1.1

3.2

3.5

18.8

These players had strikingly similar junior seasons, but Oladipo greatly outpaced Howard in shooting efficiency both from two and three and stole the ball at a higher rate. Considering Howard’s early career impact, it is easy to get excited about Oladipo’s prospects.

Furthermore, the way Oladipo scores makes him a particularly exciting prospect. He gets to the rim 8 times every forty minutes. Tony Wroten is the only guard with a higher rate in the past three years. He isn’t dependent on others to get there either as he is only assisted on 38% of his makes.

The biggest question mark with Oladipo is his shooting. It seems weird to worry about the shooting of a guy who just posted 43% from three, but as I noted above, shooting can be very noisy and Dipo has two previous years of miserable shooting casting their shadow on his 2013 success. Across his freshman and sophomore seasons, Oladipo shot 24% from three and 24% on mid-range jumpers. The narrative is that he worked hard to improve his shot during the offseason and the diligence paid off… but that is always the narrative. Oladipo deserves early lottery consideration regardless of how real his recent sniping is, but if scouts can say he really has figured out how to shoot he should be a lock for the top 3.

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Tags: Flip Saunders Minnesota Timberwolves NBA Draft NBA Draft Lottery Timberwolves News Victor Oladipo

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