Four summer league games did not settle whether Victor Oladipo will play point guard during his first regular season in the NBA.
But Oladipo likely showed enough promise to convince Orlando Magic officials to keep testing him at the new position during training camp and the preseason.
"I don't think we know really right now where it's headed," said James Borrego, the team's lead assistant coach and head summer league coach.
"I could see him being a 2-guard [a shooting guard] for us. I think I can see him being a 1-guard [a point guard] for us. And where he ends up, I don't know. But I think this week gave us a little bit better idea of what we have. I think he handled himself well at the 1. I don't think that necessarily makes him our future 1. Can he continue to develop in that area and become it? I think he has a chance."
Borrego gave Oladipo, Maurice Harkless and Kyle O'Quinn the day off Friday, and the Magic struggled in their absence, losing the Orlando Pro Summer League's seventh-place game to the Boston Celtics 102-83.
The Magic finished the week with a 2-3 record — a disappointment given the experience their players picked up last season — but Oladipo impressed with his outside shooting, his ability to drive into the lane and his defense.
Oladipo, a natural shooting guard, had never played point guard before the Magic drafted him second overall in last month's NBA Draft. The last few days felt like a whirlwind to Oladipo, who averaged 19.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game during the summer league but also 4.8 turnovers per game.
His best moment occurred Thursday, when he hit a 22-foot, step-back jumper with 4.4 seconds remaining to give the Magic a 90-89 win over the Philadelphia 76ers.
"I'm a week more comfortable," he said. "I'm slowly, but surely, learning. I'm just trying to take every aspect of the point guard position and trying to perfect it, limit my mistakes and learn when to be aggressive and when to find my teammates."
The Magic will begin training camp Oct. 1.
In those training camp practices, and in the exhibition games that will follow, team officials will see how he performs at both guard positions against tougher competition than he faced during the summer league.
The Magic currently have five guards under contract for the upcoming season: Oladipo, point guard Jameer Nelson and shooting guards Arron Afflalo, Doron Lamb and E'Twaun Moore.
Of that quintet, Oladipo figures to be the most effective defender — someone capable of guarding both backcourt positions — while Nelson is the least effective defender.
A backcourt of Oladipo at point guard and Afflalo at shooting guard in certain situations would be a significant upgrade defensively for Orlando, which ranked 25th in defensive efficiency last season.
Oladipo averaged 3.0 steals per game during the summer league.
"He's a young man that's infectious," Borrego said. "He's a young man that his team rallies around. You can feel it.
"He's got a contagious quality about him that, until you have him in your program, until you have your hands on him, you don't really understand. I think his teammates feel his competitive energy, his spirit, and we got to see it firsthand."
Oladipo watched Friday's exhibition loss from the Magic bench, and he was among the players who catapulted off their seats when the team went on a run late in the third quarter, whittling a 29-point deficit down to 14 points.
After the final buzzer, he was asked to sum up his week.
"I had some good moments and I had some rough moments," he said.
"But it was good. It was a good learning process for me this week. Even today, watching it from the sideline was good for me because I could see some mistakes and the reason why I make them and then what I need to do to correct them. It was just a great learning week for me."
firstname.lastname@example.org. Read his blog at OrlandoSentinel.com/magicblog and follow him on Twitter at @JoshuaBRobbins.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun