Victor Oladipo trade rumors — to the Lakers, Nets, Clippers, Bucks, Knicks, and others have been mentioned — are thriving among fans and pundits.
However, in the real world, teams are being far more cautious after watching Oladipo play last season. Zach Lowe of ESPN has the details.
Other teams are monitoring the Oladipo situation, but several of them would like to see Oladipo in action before engaging Indiana, sources say. Oladipo has struggled since his leg injury in January 2019, but he’s only 28 and two years removed from an All-NBA season — and on an expiring contract, which might deflate his trade value. If you don’t give up too much now, letting Oladipo walk after the season (in the worst case) doesn’t kill you. If Oladipo recovers 90% of peak form, any team that trades for him has a leg up on re-signing him (or extending him) through his prime.
After being traded to Indiana (as part of the Paul George deal), Oladipo had a breakout, All-NBA season. He looked like a max player, but the next season he ruptured his quadriceps tendon. Last season played in 19 games and, while there were strong stretches, he has a long way to go to get back to his peak form again.
That said, even this Oladipo is a solid player who could help a contending team. Oladipo makes $21 million this season — wants his next contract to be a max — and reportedly wants out of Indiana (something he denies). He works as a third option on a contender, yet because his deal is expiring it doesn’t mess with 2021 cap space. There will be genuine interest in him.
It just may be closer to the deadline. Unless the Pacers and Oladipo can figure out a contract extension (not likely, but possible).
Expect a lot more Oladipo rumors out there. Just know a deal may be a ways away.