Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images
Frankel’s 2013-14 projections
Romero Osby is a high-energy forward with good character who works hard — exactly the type of young player that general manager Rob Hennigan likes. He can score near the basket and doesn’t shy away from contact while also being a good free-throw shooter (79.4 percent his senior season at Oklahoma).
He can struggles with his lateral quickness and is a bit undersized to defend the stronger PF’s in the NBA, but he had a solid mid-range jumper and shot well — in a small sample size — from 3-point range during his last season at Oklahoma.
He’s not the best post defender, which could hinder his NBA potential at the four, and he could lack the quickness to stay with some small forwards. Ten years ago, everybody would have labeled him a tweener and probably write him off. But that didn’t stop the Magic from selecting the 6-foot-8 Osby in the second round (No. 51 overall), and he rewarded their faith by impressing in Summer League.
Fellow TrueHooper and Magic Basketball’s summer league expert Jordan White wrote glowingly of Osby’s performance in Orlando this past July, too.
That isn’t to say Osby didn’t have his struggles in Summer League, because he did. Another rookie, Boston’s Kelly Olynyk, easily scored while sometimes matched up against the former. Osby had perhaps his best game in Orlando against Boston — going 7-for-8 from the field with 18 points and 5 rebounds — but the ease with which Olynyk scored seemed to overwhelm Osby at times. Olynyk could be that good, or Osby might have trouble with forwards with range.
Osby’s future in the league rests on his ability to defend the strongest four’s and the zippiest three’s. The life of a tweener has changed as the NBA increasingly adopts a position-less style, so Osby’s long-term prospects look good if he can buckle down and defend both forward spots while his offensive game continues to mature.