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Thursday, January 23, 2020

Articles tagged: Victor Oladipo

Victor Oladipo, Domantas Sabonis to Thunder in Serge Ibaka trade

Serge Ibaka

The Orlando Magic and Oklahoma City Thunder delivered one of the biggest blockbusters on draft day, as they agreed to a large deal that sends Serge Ibaka to the Magic for three players.

The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski says the Magic are sending Victor Oladipo, Ersan Ilyasova, and draft pick Domantas Sabonis to Oklahoma City in exchange for Ibaka.

There were rumors earlier on Thursday that the Thunder were making Ibaka available in trades.

Ibaka, 27 in September, will be a free agent after next season, which makes the move somewhat risky for the Magic. But if he shines in Orlando playing without Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant for the first time in his career, he could end up signing a long-term deal with them and becoming a franchise player.

This move is also risky for the Thunder. Not only are they breaking up a core that has led them to success the past several seasons, but they are also doing so at a critical time for their franchise. Kevin Durant is a free agent and his decision to remain with OKC could be influenced by this trade. Westbrook will also be a free agent after next season.

Are the Thunder doing this to increase their chances of retaining Durant and Westbrook? Or is this protection in case they lose one or both players? Or maybe they just made the deal to get some strong value in return for Ibaka, likely knowing they wouldn’t be able to keep him beyond next season:

Oladipo should slide into the shooting guard spot for OKC and give them a really nice option. The former No. 2 overall pick in the draft averaged 16 points per game last season. His addition likely means the Thunder will not match offer sheets for Dion Waiters this offseason.

Magic to bench Victor Oladipo, start Channing Frye

victor-oladipo-magic

The first few months of the NBA season are always prime real estate for lineup tweaks and experimentation, and Orlando Magic head coach Scott Skiles is taking that ball and running with it.

After team shootaround on Wednesday, Skiles announced that he was moving third-year guard Victor Oladipo to the bench and starting veteran big man Channing Frye for their matchup against the New York Knicks.

“It’s nothing punitive,” said Skiles per Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel. “It’s just we feel like we’ve got to try to find a little bit better balance. I’d like Victor to have some more opportunities like he’s had a little bit in the past where he can be on top of the floor and attack and get a little bit more vertical and not only get to the rim but just be a little bit more on the attack but not necessarily start the game that way.”

Oladipo is averaging career lows in almost every major statistical category so far this season, posting 12.8 points per game, 6.2 rebounds per game, and 3.6 assists per game on a shield-your-eyes 37.0 percent from the field and 26.4 percent from deep. Though the former No. 2 overall pick is the team’s best defender under a defense-first coach in Skiles, he has shown almost no chemistry whatsoever sharing the backcourt with second-year point guard Elfrid Payton, another non-shooter.

With proper floor spacing being perhaps the cornerstone of the modern NBA offense, the insertion of Frye, a career 38.7 percent three-point shooter, should help Orlando gain some much-needed breathing room on the offensive side of the ball. At 6-foot-11, Frye should also give Skiles more lineup versatility and a potent anti-small ball weapon playing next to Nikola Vucevic.

Oladipo, who had been benched the second half by Skiles (a.k.a He Of The Notoriously Volatile Rotations) on numerous occasions this year, should now be free to run roughshod over opposing second units as a powder keg 6th man. While the Magic have actually been 7.6 points WORSE per 100 possessions with Oladipo on the floor this season as opposed to when he sits (per NBA.com), perhaps this more efficient situational allocation of his skills should help get the talented former Hoosier back on track.

Image Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

H/T ProBasketballTalk

Victor Oladipo sings Frank Sinatra before 540 dunk (Video)

Victor Oladipo made a statement at the NBA Slam Dunk contest Saturday with a unique and original entrance, followed by an awesome dunk.

The Orlando Magic guard, who was a runner-up for NBA Rookie of the Year last season, came out of the tunnel with a coat and hat and sang some of Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York.”

Victor Oladipo dunk

He then nailed what the announcers called a “540 dunk,” though it was more like a 450 (but who’s really complaining?). The dunk was seriously HOT and earned Oladipo 10s across the board for a 50!

Victor Oladipo had the block of the season (Video)

Oh my goodness, Victor Oladipo.

The Orlando Magic may have lost to the Portland Trail Blazers 110-94 on Wednesday, but Oladipo did what he could to prevent that. The rookie second overall draft pick rejected a Damian Lillard dunk attempt during the fourth quarter of the game with his team down by eight.

Lillard was running in transition and the Blazers had a 2-on-1 fastbreak, yet Oladipo, despite running back to play defense and not having momentum, somehow was able to stuff Lillard. It was incredible.

This is now our favorite Oladipo highlight of the season, surpassing his dunk against the Hawks in November.

Victor Oladipo block Damian Lillard

This post is Crabman approved.

Victor Oladipo dunks all over the Atlanta Hawks (Video)

Victor Oladipo dunkVictor Oladipo threw down quite the rim rocker against the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night.

The Orlando Magic rookie drove to the basket in the fourth quarter and dunked all over Al Horford AND Paul Millsap. If you watch the video, it looks like Jeff Teague was trying to funnel Oladipo to his bigs (either that or he’s incredibly lazy on defense), and Oladipo still yammed on both of them.

Oladipo finished with 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting and five assists in the Magic’s 109-92 road win. The No. 2 overall pick is averaging over 12 points per game and starting to pick up his field goal percentage. And he just added a couple of heads to his dunk victim mantle.

Oklahoma City Thunder reportedly want Victor Oladipo

Victor Oladipo IndianaVictor Oladipo was not mentioned as a potential No. 1 overall pick, but that does not mean that the Indiana guard is not highly coveted by NBA teams.

Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reported before the draft on Thursday that the Oklahoma City Thunder were pushing hard to trade with Orlando for the No. 2 overall pick so they could select Oladipo. Woj says they even attempted to acquire the No. 1 overall pick in a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers but failed. Maybe they got the sense that the Magic wanted Oladipo and that they would have to jump ahead to No. 1 to get the IU guard.

Woj also reported that “everyone” in the lottery says “no one’s readiness for the NBA has impressed them more” than Indiana players Oladipo and Cody Zeller.

The chances of the Thunder pulling off a trade for Oladipo may be unlikely, but this is an important note. If a team really likes a player around draft time but is unable to select him, they may be inclined to trade for the player in the future.

Also, based on the draft success the Thunder have enjoyed, other teams should take note of which players they like. The Thunder drafted Kevin Durant in 2007; Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka in 2008; and James Harden in 2009. Keep in mind that Westbrook, Ibaka and Harden were considered gambles at the time.

If OKC really likes Oladipo, other teams should take the cue and lock in on him. I will add personally that I really liked Oladipo at Indiana and believe he is one of the top players in the draft. He is an above-average defender, good shooter, and he has excellent athleticism.