30 NBA players that got better after leaving their first team

NBA (Photo by Jeenah Moon/Getty Images)
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Victor Oladipo
Victor Oladipo (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

30 NBA players who got better after leaving their first team: 21. Victor Oladipo

It may have taken two teams for Victor Oladipo to fully blossom but the wait was certainly worthwhile. Drafted number two overall, the Orlando Magic thought they were getting a future star in the Indiana standout. During his three seasons with the team, he averaged 15.9 points, 4.4 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.6 steals per game. He showed flashes of the defensive menace he would become but the Magic struggled, maxing out at 35 wins during his tenure.

Oladpio was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder on draft day in 2016, along with newly drafted Domantas Sabonis and Ersan Ilyasova for Serge Ibaka. He played only one season with the Thunder and provided a decent return as averaged 15.9 points per game. Then, during the offseason, he was traded again, once more with Sabonis, for All-Star Paul George.

Back in the state where he had first been a star, Oladpio immediately took off. During that season Oladpio was named the Most Improved Player in the league and made his first All-Star appearance, thanks in part to his 23.1 points per game. He was named to the All-NBA Third Team, the All-Defensive First Team and led the league in steals at 2.4 per game. Oladipo was on the track to superstardom and made the All-Star again the following season until injuries struck.

Oladipo managed to play just 36 games that season due to a ruptured quad tendon and hasn’t been quite the same since. He played just 19 games last season and so far this year, played nine games for the Indiana Pacers, 20 games for the Houston Rockets and will soon be making his debut with the Miami Heat.

Still, while his time on the court as of late has been minimal, when he does make an appearance, he still shows that he is a vastly improved player from the version we saw in his first few years. Before being shipped off to the Miami Heat earlier this year, Oladipo averaged 21.2 points per game to go along with five assists.