Victor Oladipo signed a four-year, $85 million contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder back in 2016. Less than a year later, he was traded, along with Domantas Sabonis, to the Indiana Pacers in exchange for Paul George. Currently, he is heading into the final year of his deal with the Pacers.
By all accounts, Oladipo is looking for max-level money on his next contract. Because it is unclear whether Indiana wants to pay that, trade speculation has run rampant regarding the 28-year-old’s future.
For a while, it looked like the Miami Heat might have genuine interest in trading for him. However, according to Zach Lowe of ESPN, it appears as though Miami is now “backing away” from a potential deal.
“It would not surprise me if Oladipo and the Pacers come back to the table on extension talks,” he wrote. “(Oladipo can sign an extension at any point during the season.) Indiana can offer him a four-year deal starting at $25 million per season. I’m not sure the Pacers would approach that number, but considering Oladipo’s recent play — and that some potential suitors, including the Miami Heat, have likely backed away — he would be wise to consider securing something.”
Assuming the Pacers and Oladipo cannot come to an agreement on a new deal, one other intriguing suitor has emerged for his services: the Brooklyn Nets.
Don’t worry everybody, Bronny is fine. https://t.co/1o3FyJgFZ2
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 5, 2020
“The New York Knicks had past interest in Oladipo, sources say, but they might have shifted into ‘wait and watch’ mode,” Lowe added. “Oladipo would be an interesting fallback option as the Brooklyn Nets’ ‘third star,’ though I’d be very surprised if Brooklyn dealt Caris LeVert for him.”
Oladipo currently finds himself in something of a tough situation, primarily because nobody quite knows what to expect out of him going forward. He played in 19 games this past year after suffering a ruptured quad tendon injury in his right knee that kept him out of action for an extended period of time.
Although Oladipo gradually worked himself into shape as the Pacers’ first round series against Miami progressed, he was still clearly not the player he was at his peak back in 2017.
Uh oh. https://t.co/9tFnQalqmJ
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 6, 2020
That year Oladipo averaged 23.1 points and led the league in steals with 2.1 per game. Along the way, he earned All-NBA team and All-Defensive team honors. At the time, he looked like one of the most dangerous two-way backcourt players in the entire association. If he could get back to that level then teams would probably be far more inclined to give him the sort of money he is clearly looking for.
Unfortunately, because there is just so little data available on him post-injury, front offices are understandably cautious.
The most likely scenario is that Oladipo will go into next season without a new deal on the table and bet on himself. Either he will prove the doubters wrong and secure max money from someone, or he won’t and he will have to settle for less. One way or another, a clearer picture of where he stands in the league should come at the beginning of the 2020-21 season.
A longtime sports reporter, Carlos Garcia has written about some of the biggest and most notable athletic events of the last 5 years. He has been credentialed to cover MLS, NBA and MLB games all over the United States. His work has been published on Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, AOL and the Washington Post.