NBA Combine: Indiana Guard Victor Oladipo
CHICAGO – “I hear it's a great place for players. I've been there and I love it. I'm all about working hard and getting better everyday. I think playing in Portland will be good for me if I ended up there.”
That comes from 6-4 athletic shooting guard, Victor Oladipo, out of Indiana who is projected to be selected in the top five of the 2013 NBA Draft. The Portland Trail Blazers are slotted at the No. 10 spot with the NBA Draft Lottery this coming Tuesday.
Unless the Trail Blazers get the luck of the ping-pong balls and find themselves in the top three, the chances of them acquiring Oladipo are slim to none.
However, there are moving up possibilities.
Sources close to the prospect say the Trail Blazers, among a few others teams, “really like him” and are “considering moving up to get him.”
When Oladipo was reached for comment, he acknowledged being aware of the interested teams that weren't in position to take him. If Portland did pull off the move, Oladipo is all for it.
“I would really love to go to Portland, and I'm not just saying that,” he said convincingly to CSNNW.com. “I hope, and I don't think I'm dropping that far, but if they decided to move up somehow, I think that would be a great situation for me. It's a place where you can just concentrate on basketball.”
In 36 games last season as a junior, the 21-year-old Oladipo averaged 13.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists while shooting 60 percent from the field and 44 percent from three-point range.
He's widely known for his defense and athleticism. At the Chicago Draft Combine, he recorded a 33-inch standing vertical leap and a impressive 42-inch max vertical. At 205 pounds with six percent body fat, his body is NBA ready.
“I want to come in and contribute right away,” he said. “That's what I'm working towards, to be able to make an impact immediately.”
Oladipo was not one of the many prospect interviewed by the Trail Blazers. He says his agent may book an individual workout with Portland, but there's nothing definitive at this point.
In the meantime, he'll remain patient, hopeful, that a certain team makes a move.
“Playing with solid veterans in Portland that aren't that far away from being serious contenders, would be a dream come true,” he said. “To play in the backcourt with Damian Lillard and to have [Nicolas] Batum on the other wing, would be a great situation.”