Victor Oladipo: Historical Comparisons to the Possible #1 picks

May 28th, 2013 by Kevin Hetrick

Finding similar age / production / size / athleticism profiles for Victor Oladipo proved a tad tougher than for Ben McLemore.  High leaping youngsters that finish top-ten in the NCAA for True Shooting and top-fifty for Steal Percentage, don’t grow on trees.  So I had to stretch a bit more than with the McLemore comparisons.  The Hoosier junior’s line is:

6’ 3.25” barefoot, 6’ 9.25” wingspan, 213 lbs, 33” no-step, 10.69 agility, 3.25 sprint.  Age is 21.1 at draft time.  122 orating on 23 usage.  Shooting Percentages are 60 / 44 / 75.  Location distribution of points scored is 62 / 18 / 20.  dreb% = 13.9.  stl% = 4.5.  blk% = 2.8.  ast% = 15.1.  A:TO ratio = 0.9.

For the comparisons today, I came up with:

Player A was 6’ 3.5” barefoot, 6’ 9” wingspan, 214 lbs, 31.5” no-step, 10.70 agility, 3.19 sprint.  Age of 22.4 at draft time (21.4 for reference season).  102 orating on 26 usage.  45 / 40 / 69.    58 / 19 / 23.   dreb% = 13.  stl% = 3.6.  blk% = 2.5.  ast% = 18.9.  A:TO ratio = 1.0.

Player B did not have official pre-draft measurements.  Unofficially 6’ 5” tall in shoes, and 200 lbs at that time.  Age 22.7 at draft (reference season is age 21.7).   111 orating on 27 usage.  47 / 40 / 84.  50 / 33 / 17.  dreb% = 12.8.  asst% = 12.9.  stl% = 2.8.  blk% = 2.8.  A:TO ratio = 0.7.

For size and athleticism, Oladipo and Player A are almost ridiculously mirror images of each other; Oladipo jumped slightly higher, while Player A ran a hair faster.  Also, their scoring distribution, defensive contributions, and passing prove extremely similar.  Where Oladipo separates himself is, while playing at four months younger, providing offensive efficiency easily besting his counterpart.

Player B relied on the three more than Oladipo and also was called upon to use a higher level of his team’s offense.  He did score two-thirds of his points from inside the arc or at the line though, so he wasn’t overly reliant on an outside shot.  As a shooting guard with excellent block and steal rates, solid shooting percentages, and limited passing ability, he matches Oladipo reasonably well.

Player A is Tony Allen, while Player B is Courtney Lee, who played the NCAA’s 210th toughest schedule in 2006 – 2007; Oladipo faced the fourteenth most difficult in 2013.  I primarily included Lee for the sake of providing two comparables; at seven months younger and against a tougher slate, Oladipo bested him nearly across the board.

The key here is Allen, who seems like a cliche for what any athletic, slashing shooting guard can become.  Except in this case, putting their stats and measurement side-by-side is almost unbelievably similar, with one key distinction.  At a younger age though, Oladipo’s offensive output is strikingly more effective.  If he projects as “Tony Allen, But Better On Offense”…that is definitely worth consideration for the top pick in a starless draft.  TABBOO is a borderline all-star.

Before parting, let’s look at one more comparison.

Player C – 6’ 2.5” barefoot, 6’ 7.25” wingspan, 221 lbs.  116 orating on 26 usage.  Age 20.6 at draft time.  48 / 36 / 73.  55 / 26 / 18.  dreb% = 8.1.  ast% = 21.2.  stl% = 4.6.  A:TO Ratio = 1.9.  blk% = 1.5.

Similarly sized, this guy’s team relied on him more heavily on offense, where he produced admirably despite being six months younger.  Three-quarters of his scoring came on two-pointers or at the line, vaguely reminiscent of Oladipo, and they both displayed a keen nose for steals.  Player C rebounded and blocked shots on fewer occasions, but definitely created more offense for others.  Who is it?

It’s Dion Waiters.  How do D-Wait and V-Olad fit together on a team?

Well, if the Cavs were convinced that Oladipo had the highest probability for top-shelf NBA success…it can make sense to draft him.  If an Irving, Waiters, Oladipo backcourt can coexist for eight minutes per game, the team could manage a distribution of Kyrie, 36 minutes; Waiters, 34 minutes; Oladipo, 34 minutes.   Certainly in the short term, this would work; Dion would basically be the starting shooting guard and Kyrie’s back-up.  If it isn’t the right mix in the longterm, but Dion and Victor excel, then they trade one.  The team will be better off ensuring this pick succeeds, rather than selecting a lesser player for need.

Let’s talk about Porter and Noel before going too far down that road though.  Until tomorrow.