The Indiana Pacers were swept by the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference’s first round. Miami is now in the conference finals and Indiana is stuck at home. Despite failing to advance in the playoffs, the Pacers did have one positive outcome, the return of Victor Oladipo.
Oladipo, 28, ruptured his quad back in January. he is a 6’4 guard from Silver Spring, Maryland. Oladipo played college ball at the University of Indiana. The Orlando Magic selected the hybrid guard with the 2nd overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft. Oladipo is a two-time NBA all-star played with the Magic through the 2016 season but was dealt to the Oklahoma City Thunder following the season. After just one season, he was then traded to the Indiana Pacers where he finally blossomed into a star.
Oladipo has averaged 17.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 3.9 assists throughout his career. Teams have started to express interest in landing the former all-star. Which five teams could take the chance on Oladipo?
The Brooklyn Nets have been rumored to be interested in a third star to pair up with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. Brooklyn has been linked to Bradley Beal and Zach LaVine, but Oladipo can also be a solid option. Oladipo would improve the Nets’ defense and the all-around team play. Look out for Spencer Dinwiddie to be a key piece in an Oladipo trade. Caris Lavert might also be a key centerpiece in a trade. Forward Taurean Prince might also be included in a deal. Expect a few draft picks to be involved, in a trade for Oladipo, but the Nets have the pieces to pull a trade-off without giving up draft selections.
New York Knicks
New York has been in the need of a star for some time now, and Oladipo could be their guy. Oladipo could be a great fit alongside, forward, Kevin Knox and center Mitchell Robinson. Julius Randle, despite signing a deal last year, could be a player that is sent to Indiana. Randle and Oladipo make almost the same amount in terms of base salary, so the Knicks wouldn’t have to worry about the cap. Point guard Dennis Smith Jr. might also be moved if the Knicks want Oladipo. New York will definitely have to give up picks to land Oladipo.
The Mavericks have star guard Luka Dončić but could be looking to improve the backcourt. Dončić and Oladipo can both play point guard and shooting guard, so Dallas can decide which player plays which position if they do, indeed, pursue the Indiana guard. The Mavericks can move Delon Wright, another player like Dwight Powell, and a draft pick or two for Oladipo. If the Mavericks were able to acquire Oladipo, watch out, as Dallas could make a serious push in the Western Conference.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers finished the regular season with the best record in the Western Conference. LeBron James and Anthony Davis are the leaders of a fast-paced team. The Lakers are in the need of a point guard after Avery Bradley opted out of the NBA’s restart. If Bradley chooses not to play next season, Los Angeles will need to upgrade. The biggest piece that the Lakers will probably send to Indiana is forward Kyle Kuzma. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope might also be dealt for Oladipo. The Lakers don’t have many, but they will have to find a way to package up some picks to land the all-around guard.
The Miami Heat are now in the Eastern Conference finals and will face off against the Boston Celtics. The Heat are one of the deepest teams in the NBA but can always upgrade in the back court. Some players that would more than likely be included in trade talks for Oladipo would be Kelly Olynyk, Kendrick Nunn, Derrick Jones Jr, and maybe even Andre Iguodala. Guard Tyler Herro could also be brought up in an offer, although it’s unlikely. The Heat will also have to package up picks to secure Victor Oladipo.