After tearing his quad in 2018-19, Oladipo made his return to the court last season in January 2020. Overall, he appeared in 19 games (16 starts), averaging a modest 14.5 points on 39.4 percent shooting, 3.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 27.8 minutes. Along the way, rumors began to swirl about Oladipo's lack of desire to remain with the franchise, and reports emerged later stating he was actively asking opposing teams' players if he could come play with them. Given that, it's unclear what Oladipo's future holds, though he's going into camp with Indiana and has been receptive to new head coach Nate Bjorkgren. The upcoming season for Oladipo could have a wide range of outcomes, ranging from still looking rusty from his serious injury to playing back at an All-Star level. It's a risk to draft him, but the upside is hard to ignore.
Oladipo saw his 2018-19 season cut short by a torn quadriceps tendon after 36 games, which could keep him out until January if the Pacers are especially cautious. The 2013 second overall pick was in the midst of one of his more inefficient seasons at the time he went down, as he was shooting just 42.3 percent -- his poorest figure since his rookie 2013-14 campaign. That led to a sharp downturn for Oladipo after he'd averaged a career-best 23.1 points during the 2017-18 season while also furnishing a then-career-high 4.3 assists and 2.4 steals. The 27-year-old guard offset some of his shooting struggles by one-upping himself in a pair of categories during his injury-shortened season, pulling down 5.6 boards and dishing out 5.2 dimes. Oladipo has been checking off recovery boxes consistently over the last few months, shedding his brace and crutches in late March, progressing to running in early June and resuming on-court work shortly thereafter. However, if recent comments from Pacers brass are any indication, the latter stages of Oladipo's rehab are likely to be a lot more deliberate, and Oladipo's minutes will reportedly be carefully monitored once he's back. In the interim, the capable Jeremy Lamb will fill the shooting guard spot, while former two-guard Malcolm Brogdon projects as Lamb's -- and eventually, Oladipo's -- backcourt mate. Factoring in the offseason acquisition of T.J. Warren and Brogdon's elite shooting (50.5 percent, including 42.6 percent from three-point range, in 2018-19), Oladipo could underwhelm this season for anyone drafting him with the expectation of a prior level of production.
Playing for his third team in as many seasons, the 2017-18 campaign marked a make-or-break year for Oladipo, who had struggled to live up to his No. 2 overall selection in the 2013 NBA Draft. However, the move to Indiana clearly paid dividends, as Oladipo finally put everything together and secured the breakout performance that many expected to see earlier in his career. The 26-year-old was the go-to option for the Pacers offensively, upping his scoring to 23.1 points per game compared to 15.9 a year prior. Oladipo also tallied career-highs elsewhere across the board and provided the highly valued multi-category production Fantasy owners covet with 5.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 2.4 steals and 2.1 three-pointers across 34.0 minutes. Despite putting up 17.9 field goal attempts per game -- he averaged just 13.9 attempts in 2016-17 -- Oladipo still increased his efficiency overall, shooting 47.7 percent from the field and 37.1 percent from the three-point line, both of which were also tops in his five years in the NBA. As a result of the production, Oladipo was showered with awards, picking up the NBA's Most Improved Player award, as well as earning his first All-Star invite and becoming an All-Defensive First Team selection following his top overall finish in the league for steals per game. Now considered one of the more impressive two-way players in the league following last year's explosion, expectations for Oladipo for the upcoming campaign should be high. The Pacers only added a few significant pieces in free agency, most notably being the signing of Tyreke Evans. However, Evans shouldn't pose much of a threat to Oladipo's usage, so look for him to run the show once again. Considering his contributions to a plethora of categories, specifically his top-tier scoring and steal totals, Oladipo has now put himself into consideration as a top-15 or top-20 pick overall in the majority of Fantasy formats. Those looking to pick up the superstar guard will have to invest an early-round selection.
Oladipo will be entering his fifth year in the league this upcoming season, though has struggled to find a consistent role and will be joining his third team. He’s a combo guard, but hasn’t demonstrated top-tier playmaking ability or three-point shooting, causing a tough choice for coaches on where to slot him. Coaches have tried to place him at small forward on occasion, but his 6-foot-4 frame causes issues on defense considering nearly everyone he would check possesses a physical advantage over him, despite Oladipo’s proficiency on that side of the rock. He spent last season next to Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City, posting 15.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.2 steals across 33.2 minutes per game while shooting 44.2 percent from the field and hitting 1.9 threes at a 36.1 percent clip. This season has the feeling of a make-or-break campaign for Oladipo, who’s joining a team robbed of Paul George’ and Jeff Teague’s offensive production. He seemingly projects to be one of the focal points of the team’s offense, as the other guards on the roster – namely Darren Collison, Cory Joseph and Lance Stephenson – certainly aren’t top-tier options on that side of the ball. It’s tough to gauge exactly how much involvement Oladipo will have, but his assists per game figure to see an uptick considering he won’t be alongside the ball-dominant presence of Russell Westbrook.
Of the three players the Thunder acquired in a draft-day deal that sent Serge Ibaka to the Magic, Oladipo was the main prize. The former No. 2 overall pick is a magnificent athlete and strong defender who offers the ability to play point guard and both wing spots, but his subpar-to-average shooting from distance made him a somewhat expendable piece on a Magic squad that was already lacking in three-point threats. Moreover, his development seemed to plateau in his third season in the league, as his averages of 16.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 2.1 turnovers, 1.6 steals, 1.4 three-pointers and 0.8 blocks in 33.0 minutes per game weren’t markedly different from what he posted during his sophomore campaign. Nonetheless, the Thunder recognized the upside that still exists in Oladipo, and he should emerge as the top sidekick to Russell Westbrook, who takes over as the team’s alpha dog now that Kevin Durant is with the Warriors. With Westbrook running the offense and Cameron Payne in line for top backup duties at point guard, Oladipo figures to spend the majority of his time on the wing, where further growth as a three-point shooter will be a prerequisite if the Thunder hope to remain among the top teams in the Western Conference. The career-best 34.8 percent success rate Oladipo provided from three-point land a season ago offers some encouragement that he’s still improving in that area, and having Westbrook on hand to command most of the attention of opposing defenses should open up more extra looks for the swingman than he saw in Orlando. If he’s indeed able to raise his efficiency, a career-best season could be in the offing. That would certainly qualify as convenient timing for Oladipo, who will become a restricted free agent at the end of the season and is surely eying a max deal similar to what Bradley Beal received from the Wizards this past summer.
Oladipo's sophomore season started on the wrong foot when he missed all of training camp and preseason with a sprained right MCL, and just before returning at the start of the regular season, he endured a facial fracture that cost him the first nine games. Over the course of 72 games, he provided 17.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 1.7 steals, and 1.2 three-pointers in 36 minutes per contest. The 23-year-old guard made incremental strides in his shooting, raising his field-goal mark to 44 percent and his three-point accuracy to 34 percent as he spent more time at shooting guard with rookie Elfrid Payton on the squad. Using the first half of the season to develop chemistry with his new teammates and to acclimate to the system, Oladipo exploded after All-Star break, becoming one of seven players to average at least 20.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 4.0 assists per game in that span. He's still susceptible to careless turnovers, errant passes, and forcing wild shots at the rim, manifesting into inefficient percentages. The Magic hired head coach Scott Skiles in the offseason, and Oladipo will vie to retain his role as the team's starting shooting guard.
Victor Oladipo is fresh off a second place Rookie of the Year campaign. Last season, Oladipo averaged 13.8 points, 4.1 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 1.6 steals, and 0.5 blocks in 31 minutes per game in 80 contests. He shot 42 percent from the field on 11.7 attempts per game and 78 percent from the line on 4.0 attempts per game. Oladipo led all rookies in total minutes (2,486) and turnovers (256), which was the seventh-worst mark for turnovers among all players last season. The 22-year-old guard assuaged his turnover woes by finishing ninth in total steals (129) and held opponents to a crackerjack 46-percent shooting at the rim. With the departure of Jameer Nelson (Orlando's all-time assist leader) and Arron Afflalo, Oladipo's usage rate and minutes are expected to spike, likely exacerbating his ball-handling follies. The addition of rookie Elfrid Payton alleviates primary playmaking duties, while the Channing Frye signing gives the Magic a legitimate floor spacer, in all probability increasing Oladipo's efficiency around the basket. As last season progressed, Oladipo demonstrated improved range, converting 38 percent of his three-pointers and 44 percent of his shots from the floor after the All-Star break. Oladipo heads into his sophomore season a reported 20 pounds lighter, ready to accept the role as team leader.
Drafted by the Magic with the second overall pick in this June's draft, the supremely athletic Oladipo projects to be a lockdown perimeter defender immediately, but it's unclear how long it might take for his offense to catch up. Oladipo filled up the stat sheet as a junior at Indiana last season and during summer league play with the Magic, but his mid-range shot still remains a bit unreliable at this stage of his development. To work around this issue, the Magic plan to give Oladipo minutes at both guard spots this season, with the hope that his physical gifts will allow him to thrive as a facilitator while still maximizing his strengths as a slasher. Because he had limited ball-handling responsibilities in college, Oladipo could experience some growing pains while manning the point, as evidenced by the 4.8 turnovers he averaged during summer league. However, with veteran guards Jameer Nelson and Arron Afflalo unlikely to be a part of the next great Magic teams, the Magic figure to exercise plenty of patience with Oladipo in his rookie season, allowing him to learn the ropes as he goes.