If the Wizards want to see Indiana junior swingman and former DeMatha standout Victor Oladipo, they will have to come to him and not the other way around.
According to multiple league sources with knowledge of the situation, Oladipo has declined the Wizards’ invitation to work out at Verizon Center. But Oladipo has given the team the option of watching him work out at DeMatha or another facility in Bowie, where he has been preparing for the NBA draft.
Oladipo grew up in Upper Marlboro but doesn’t expect his career to begin with his hometown team, which already has its backcourt set with John Wall and Bradley Beal. When asked about the possibility of playing for the Wizards during the NBA combine last month in Chicago, Oladipo didn’t sound as if he thought it would be the best fit.
“It would be interesting because they already have John Wall and Bradley Beal,” he said, “but I feel like if I land there, I can make an impact in whatever area they want to, and just help the team win.”
The Wizards have expressed an interest in Oladipo, who averaged 13.6 points and 6.3 rebounds as a junior and helped the Hoosiers win the Big Ten title and advance to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament.
With an open invitation, the Wizards would still like a visit with Oladipo early next week, according to sources. Oladipo met with the Wizards on the first night of the NBA combine. But members of Oladipo’s camp are pessimistic that the team would actually take him with the third overall pick in the NBA draft on June 27 at Barclays Center.
Most draft boards have Washington taking either Georgetown sophomore forward Otto Porter or UNLV freshman forward Anthony Bennett. Porter, Bennett and Nerlens Noel, a favorite to go No. 1 overall, have all visited the team over the past four days.
According to sources close to Oladipo, the 6-foot-5 guard will work out next week for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Cleveland also has a backcourt set with all-star Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters but it also holds the No. 1 overall pick.
Oladipo has been one of the biggest risers in the draft and some draft boards have him going second to Orlando ahead of Kansas freshman guard Ben McLemore. He has already worked out for Phoenix, which holds the fifth overall pick. Minnesota is reportedly interested in moving up from the ninth overall pick and new president of basketball operations Flip Saunders came to Washington on Friday to meet with Oladipo.
“In everything I do, I feel like if you bring the best out of yourself in everything you do, you can bring the best out of yourself in the game as well,” Oladipo said last month. “I’m going to go out and try to be the best at everything. Work at a high level and just build my confidence and my game.”