The 2020 free agent market promises to be quieter than that of prior years. Whereas last season there were serious questions regarding Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Jimmy Butler, this year the biggest available names are Fred VanVleet and Danilo Gallinari. As a result, teams will likely be more aggressive in pursuing trades to upgrade their rosters.
One player who most assumed would get a lot of attention from various organizations looking to take the next step? Victor Oladipo.
This past week, ESPN NBA insider Zach Lowe suggested that the Milwaukee Bucks may take a serious look at bringing him in, obviously in hopes of providing Giannis Antetokounmpo with some additional firepower.
“I’ll give you a team I’m keeping an eye on with Victor Oladipo…Milwaukee,” he said. “Just keeping my eye on them…that’s all I’m saying, that’s all I’m going to say.”
There has also been some chatter regarding Oladipo possibly heading to the Miami Heat, to team up with Butler and Bam Adebayo. However, during a recent ‘Hoop Collective’ podcast, Brian Windhorst made the case that Oladipo is more interested in joining the Heat than they are in bringing him onboard.
“Oladipo has been connected to Miami for months now…my feel is that Miami has their eye on bigger fish,” he said.
“I’m not sure that the interest from Miami is as high as the interest from Oladipo.”
Windhorst’s take on Oladipo’s value coincides with a recent assessment offered by ESPN’s Tim Bontemps.
“I think it’s unlikely Oladipo gets traded because of how weird his past year has been,” he said during the ‘Hoop Collective’ podcast.
“Both coming back from the injury, and frankly, not being very good after coming back from the injury.
“From talking to people around the league, I don’t think his value is nearly as high as his name brand would suggest at the moment. And I think it’s more likely that the Pacers go into the season and either hope he plays really well and they do great and he decides to stay. Or that he plays better and they maybe trade him later, when his value goes up soon.”
This conversation took a weird turn. https://t.co/tiGtaKnSvy
— Game 7 (@game7__) October 20, 2020
Oladipo currently finds himself in an interesting position. He played in 19 games this past season after suffering a ruptured quad tendon injury in his right knee that kept him out of action for more than a year.
The 28-year-old clearly wasn’t himself immediately upon returning, but seemed to work himself more and more into game shape towards the end of the Pacers’ first round series against the Heat.
In 2017, Oladipo averaged 23.1 points and led the NBA in steals with 2.1 per outing. That effort earned him both All-NBA team and All-Defensive team nods, and really established him as one of the league’s most promising young stars. Obviously his injury derailed that to some degree, but if he can regain old form, clearly he could be a huge asset.
Derrick Rose’s wife reacts to the Lakers trade talk. https://t.co/earfV3ebGE
— Game 7 (@game7__) October 20, 2020
Aside from the Bucks and Heat, Oladipo has also been linked to the New York Knicks as well as the Los Angeles Lakers – though it remains questionable how viable those two possibilities truly are.
Oladipo currently has one year remaining on a four-year, $85 million deal. It is assumed that he will want a max offer on his next contract, and it is uncertain how Indiana is currently assessing his worth.
It’s very possible that all this hubbub is for nothing, and Oladipo will simply re-sign with the Pacers long-term. But if that isn’t in the cards, then it will be interesting to see where he ultimately lands.
Related: NBA Ratings, Finances In Rough Shape After Bumpy 2020