CHICAGO -- The stories about Victor Oladipo, which speak to his unselfishness and high IQ, are endless.
A certain high lottery pick, Oladipo was a bit surprised to learn the Wizards want to have a 30-minute sitdown with him at the combine last week. The Wizards already have a solid starting backcourt in point guard John Wall and shooting guard Bradley Beal.
They'll find out Tuesday in the draft lottery if they'll move up high enough to have an actual chance of picking him. Oladipo stands just over 6-4 in sneakers. He played small forward at Indiana but will log more time as a shooting guard in the NBA. The Wizards need post players who can score. But Oladipo is a lockdown defender who could fit with a top 10 defensive team such as Washington, and he has a 6-9 wingspan.
“It was fun. Those guys knew everything about you. Every guy does, but they’re right in the back yard,” said Oladipo, Big Ten defensive player of the Year from DeMatha Catholic in Upper Marlboro, Md. “Growing up, watching the Wizards, it was fun being in that room and talking to them.
“It would be interesting, because they already have John Wall and Bradley Beal. I feel like if I would land there I’d make an impact in any way they want me to.”
The Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics, Oklahoma City Thunder, Sacramento Kings and Detroit Pistons are among many other teams that showed interest at the combine.
Oladipo didn't participate in workouts, but there wasn't much need. He’s a known quantity who is the best defender in this draft class with an improved spot-up jump shot with three-point range. His leaping ability is jaw-dropping. He’ll have to work on his ball-handling to create off the dribble in the backcourt. Oladipo’s defense is his calling card.
Teams are more interested in interviewing players to find out what's between their ears at the combine. They've witnessed first-hand what Oladipo can do for three years on the court at Indiana as the Hoosiers went from a losing team his freshman season to Big Ten champions this year.
“All my life, starting from when I was a little kid, that’s all I could do. I didn't have a skill package. I wasn't really high skilled at a young age so in order for me to get on the floor I had to guard the team’s best player,” Oladipo said. “That’s what’s got me this far. I’m not going to lose that but at the same time grow and become better on the other end, on the offensive end. I've done a pretty good job of that.”