Top 15 Orlando Magic Rookies
7. Victor Oladipo
13.8 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 4.1 APG, 1.6 SPG, 80 games, 44 starts, 31.1 MPG
Victor Oladipo was a relatively young rookie for a prospect who played in college for three seasons. As a 21-year-old joining the Orlando Magic, Oladipo showed serious promise at Indiana on both ends of the floor.
He was a Co-Defensive Player of the Year during his final season in college, and at the very least Orlando knew that he could become an elite defender in the NBA.
Oladipo joined the Magic after a complete overhaul of the roster happened a season prior. The new-look Magic were one of the younger teams in the NBA looking to rebuild with young draft picks.
During the Rob Hennigan era, Victor Oladipo was the highest player selected and there was considerable hype for the new centerpiece of the organization.
Entering the season, he was considered a front-runner for Rookie of the Year and proved just that. He showed glimpses of the “Heart and Hustle” era for Orlando as he was the most athletic player on the roster diving for loose balls and playing with energy.
He did not shoot the ball particularly well during his first season, but that also comes with a lack of offensive firepower. The Magic had the second-worst offensive rating in the NBA that year.
Oladipo found his offense often through cuts to the rim or quick moves to beat his defender to the paint. He played with effort and did what was expected. He scored, rebounded, and passed at a high level for a rookie.
He was fourth in points per game, second in assists, first in steals and fourth in minutes. His ability to penetrate the defense to kickouts was an added plus that many did not anticipate this early on in Oladipo’s career.
Oladipo’s impact on the defensive side of the ball was his strong suit. He averaged 1.6 steals per game, which was tied for 12th in the NBA.
Oladipo went on to finish runner-up in Rookie of the Year behind Michael Carter-Williams but proved that he deserved a large role in the NBA.