Basketball analyst Will Perdue says Indiana junior Victor Oladipo is the most NBA ready player in the 2013 draft.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – If Nerlens Noel is not the first pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, then Ben McLemore will be. Either the freshman from Kentucky (Noel) or the freshman from Kansas.
It depends upon which guy the Cavaliers like. Cleveland won the first pick in the lottery Tuesday night.
Will Perdue is here to offer a dissenting opinion. Perdue believes that Victor Oladipo of Indiana is the most NBA ready player in this draft.
"If you're talking about the guy who is going to come in and be the most effective player from Day One, it's Oladipo," Perdue said. "He's got that 'It' Factor," that it takes to be successful in the league. A lot of guys in this draft don't have that. There's no doubt he plays with an edge.
"Watching him play defense this season, I wouldn't have any hesitation putting him into an NBA game and letting him guard Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade or Kobe Bryant from Day One. I think he's that good defensively."
Perdue, who lives in Louisville, worked both NBA and college games this season on television and radio. He'll serve as a radio analyst for ESPN during on Draft Night (June 27) from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Perdue, 47, played 13 seasons in the league after graduating from Vanderbilt in 1988.
Cleveland is unlikely to draft Oladipo first because the Cavaliers took a shooting guard, Dion Waiters of Syracuse, with the fourth overall pick last season. Noel is the guy most observers expect the Cavs to team with point guard Kyrie Irving.
Orlando will select after Cleveland. Washington won the third pick in the lottery while Charlotte will draft fourth and Phoenix fifth.
Perdue is not predicting that Oladipo, a junior, will have the best pro career. It's too soon to make that call. He is predicting that Oladipo will be the most effective NBA player from the opening tip of next season.
McLemore has an inconsistent jump shot, Perdue said. His questions about Noel are the obvious ones: How quickly will he recover from his knee surgery of three months ago? How effective will Noel be as a low-post offensive player, considering he weighs only 206 pounds and averaged 10.5 points per game as a freshman at UK?
Oladipo performed – and tested -- well at the pre-draft camp in Chicago last week.
"There are some legitimate questions about every player in this draft," Perdue said. "There's not a LeBron (James) or Derrick Rose or an Anthony Davis, somebody who is clearly the top pick. I'm not sure there's anybody in this draft who will be an all-star in his first five seasons.
"Each team will see it differently. There's not a single player in this draft that you can build a team around."
Most NBA insiders have Oladipo being taken in the first 4-to-7 picks. Noel, because of his shot-blocking ability, and McLemore, because of his scoring potential, are considered the top two prospects.
Then it becomes a beauty contest. There is Oladipo. There is Georgetown forward Otto Porter. There is Shabazz Muhammad of UCLA. There is Anthony Bennett of UNLV. There is Alex Len of Maryland.
Essentially, there is considerable mystery. Scouting and picking the player who fits a system have never been more important.
"It should be a very interesting night," Perdue said.