A terrific athlete who never really panned out as far as the NBA is concerned, Olumide Oyedeji is a "summer league warrior" type who has a great chance of showing NBA scouts exactly what they are missing out on in a leading role with the Nigerian National team in Japan. In the absence of Ike Diogu, who was listed on the preliminary roster for Nigeria but will not be attending, Oyedeji will have to be the teams star.
Oyedeji is an impressive physical specimen, featuring great size, terrific length and a chiseled NBA body. He gets up and down the floor extremely well and possesses the right amount of quickness and explosiveness to get the job done effectively inside. He has raw footwork once establishing position inside but a good enough touch around the hoop to knock down shots from close range when a dunk isn't an option. Olumide plays extremely hard and is not afraid to throw his weight around in the paint. He'll even surprise you at times by stepping back and knocking down a mid-range jumper. His biggest strength has to be his ability to hit the glass, though. Oyedeji utilizes all of his terrific physical attributes here to come up with rebounds outside of his area, particularly his length and sheer tenacity in which he goes after boards. He impressed the DraftExpress staff in last year's Vegas Summer league by putting up 9 points and 7 rebounds in just 20 minutes per game, but apparently not the NBA scouts in attendance who warned us that he "does this every summer and then never pans out." If he's anywhere close to his listed age of 25 (most have their doubts) then the book on Oyedeji might not be closed quite yet as far as the NBA is concerned.
He is a well known player who was projected as a lottery pick back in the 2000 draft after a dominant performance in the Hoop Summit, only to fall to the middle of the 2nd round after concerns over his true age saw his stock plummet. Oyedeji already has 3 years of NBA experience under his belt playing with the Orlando Magic and Seattle Supersonics, but has been bouncing between Europe, China, Korea and the Puerto Rican league stockpiling as much cash as a super strong and athletic big man can, which is quite a bit.
He's been a fan favorite everywhere he's gone, and the stories of his generosity if giving back to his fellow Nigerians (particularly with the basketball camps he sponsors) have made their way around the world. It remains to be seen how much interest Oyedeji has in returning to a bench-warming role in the NBA, but he has an outstanding opportunity to show teams that he is capable of much more than that with the way he's developed in the past few years.