Here’s What Karim Mane Can Bring to the Orlando Magic

Magic signed Mane to a two-way contract on Friday
by Josh Cohen

ORLANDO - One of the most intriguing undrafted players this year is Karim Mane, a 6-foot-5, extremely athletic combo guard originally from Dakar, Senegal. He moved to Canada when he was 7 years old, and played three years at Montreal’s Vanier College, where he averaged 15.9 points, 7.9 rebounds and 5.4 assists in his final season.

The two NBA players he resembles on the court are Victor Oladipo and Jrue Holiday. The Oladipo comparison stems from Mane’s explosiveness and shiftiness. Defenders have a really hard time containing Mane when he puts the ball on the deck and attacks the paint.

Also like the Indiana Pacers star, Mane does an excellent job weaving around defenders when he accelerates inside. He also excels at splitting defenders, which most young players struggle doing.

Being able to drive right or left gives him a major advantage, and he’s able to change hands quickly, making it difficult for interior defenders to block his layups.

The Holiday similitude is tied to his shooting form and on-ball defense. While an inconsistent outside shooter, Mane’s mechanics look almost identical to Holiday’s. Defensively, Mane is relentless. He’ll be perfect in the NBA (or G League) for trapping and applying full court pressure, which is Holiday’s forte.

Obviously, it would be an incredible accomplishment if he ultimately comes anywhere close to playing like Oladipo or Holiday at any point in his career. That shouldn't be expected for someone that went undrafted. But from a playing style standpoint, those are two players he compares to.

Playmaking could be another one of Mane’s strengths. While it came against inferior competition, the 20-year-old exhibited good instincts and vision at Vanier, which went 32-2 the last two seasons with Mane as its leader.

Mane’s shot selection will need to improve with the Orlando Magic (and Lakeland Magic when he’s with their G League affiliate). Game film shows that he took too many contested shots. Sometimes on his drives, he would toss up acrobatic layups that had little chance of going in.

As stated before, Mane will need to improve his long-distance shooting as well. He did not shoot a high percentage from 3-point range in college, even though his form looks clean.

Mane chose to go pro despite several offers from major Division 1 American colleges, including Kansas, Michigan State, Marquette, Maryland, Texas and Wake Forest. If he had gone to any of those schools, even for just one year, and then declared for the NBA Draft, would Mane have skyrocketed up draft boards and been a definite first round selection?

That’s what makes him most intriguing. Unlike most players who sign two-way NBA contracts, Mane is much more of a mystery because there’s far less material on him to really know where he stands amongst his peers.

Regardless, with Orlando he will have a chance to show that every team who passed on him in the draft made a mistake.

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