The NBA’s regular season is complete and just one of the four Hoosiers currently in the league, Eric Gordon, is on a playoff team. Here’s a look at how Victor Oladipo, Cody Zeller, Gordon and Noah Vonleh fared this season:
· Victor Oladipo, Orlando Magic Stats (72 games): 17.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 1.7 steals in 35.7 minutes per game
Notes: Oladipo had an injury setback early in the season, but recovered nicely for a very solid sophomore season in the NBA. His scoring average was up more than four points per game and his shooting percentage was up as well – although there’s plenty of work to do in terms of improving efficiency. In Oladipo and Elfrid Payton, the Magic have one of the more intriguing young backcourts in the league, but more changes are coming for this franchise in the offseason as Jacque Vaughn was let go in-season and the team has yet to hire a permanent replacement.
Quotable: “This is temporary. So that’s motivation in itself. This year — we just need to use it as fuel and fire and go out and work this summer, and this summer needs to be all about winning. We need to come back and have that mentality to do whatever it takes to win.” – Oladipo after Orlando’s final regular season game.
Periodically throughout the season, we’ll take a look at how former Indiana players are performing in the NBA. Here’s our December update:
· Victor Oladipo, Orlando Magic Stats: 15.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.3 steals in 32 minutes per game
Notes: Oladipo is clearly the top former IU player in the NBA right now and after he missed the Magic’s first nine games with a facial fracture, he’s been one of the better second year players in the league. He’s shooting the ball much better than he did as a rookie (47.4 percent vs. 41.9 percent), his turnovers are down slightly and the Magic are just two games out of the playoffs in a depleted Eastern Conference.
Quotable: “It’s just about moving forward and not letting my head hang. Before, last year, I would let my head hang and nothing got better and it kept getting worse and worse. I tried something new last game – I stayed positive, I pushed forward and made plays. I went from slow to fast and took my time.” – Oladipo to NBA.com.
Vonleh said he was playing pickup basketball on Indiana’s campus when he felt a “pop,” which he thought was just a groin pull. But the pain grew worse, and he had an MRI that revealed a tear. Vonleh is now able to work out on an elliptical machine and start some light shooting and jogging. He says he’s feeling much better in the last week.
The 12-man roster that will represent the United States at the 2012 Olympics in London was announced Saturday night and former Indiana guard Eric Gordon missed the final cut.
Gordon, who averaged 8.6 points and 1.6 rebounds on the USA World Championship team that won the 2010 FIBA World Championship, was among six players vying for the final three spots on the Olympic team.
USA Basketball began training on Friday in Las Vegas and went through two workouts before the final roster was announced.
Andre Igoudala, Blake Griffin and James Harden made the cut and Gordon, Anthony Davis and Rudy Gay were left off the roster.
“If (the Hornets) were interested, there wouldn’t have been no tour, there wouldn’t have been nothing,” Gordon said. “There’s been no negotiations. I was right there in Indiana. I haven’t received no calls, to me personally. They’ve contacted my agent.
“As for now, I don’t know what’s going on. (If the Hornets match) as of right now, I’d be disappointed.”
As a restricted free agent, the Hornets wil have three days to match Gordon’s offer sheet from Phoenix and retain him.
New Orleans offered Gordon a four-year extension last January when the franchise was still owned by the NBA, but he rejected the offer.
“After visiting the Suns, the impression the organization made on me was incredible. (Suns Managing Partner) Mr. (Robert) Sarver, (President of Basketball Operations) Lon Babby, (General Manager) Lance Blanks, the front-office staff and Coach (Alvin) Gentry run a first-class organization and I strongly feel they are the right franchise for me. Phoenix is just where my heart is now.”
Gordon is expected to report to Las Vegas later this week to begin training with USA Basketball for the 2012 Olympics.
NBA free agency kicked off Sunday and former Indiana guard Eric Gordon has a strong list of suitors according to multiple reports.
Gordon, who was acquired before last season by the New Orleans Hornets, reportedly met with officials from the Indiana Pacers and Houston Rockets on Sunday. The Phoenix Suns are also expected to meet with Gordon later this week.
The Hornets are prepared to match any offer Gordon receives, even if it’s a maximum-money offer. New Orleans is the only team that can offer Gordon a five-year, $79 million contract.
The Rockets appear to be the most serious about obtaining Gordon and could explore the possibility of putting forth a sign-and-trade package that would give the Hornets compensation, so they would be less inclined to match a potential offer.
Gordon, who played in just nine games last season due to a knee injury, is among 16 NBA players still in the mix for the 2012 Olympic team. The announcement of the 12-man roster could come on July 7.
The Times-Picayune report states that Gordon would like to have his situation settled before leaving for USA Basketball training in Las Vegas later this week.
Former Indiana forward D.J. White, who played the last season and a half with the Charlotte Bobcats, may be looking for a new NBA home.