Pacers salary series: Victor Oladipo is about to get buckets

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - AUGUST 4: Victor Oladipo of Team Africa practices for the 2017 Africa Game as part of the Basketball Without Borders Africa at the Ticketpro Dome on August 4, 2017 in Gauteng province of Johannesburg, South Africa. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - AUGUST 4: Victor Oladipo of Team Africa practices for the 2017 Africa Game as part of the Basketball Without Borders Africa at the Ticketpro Dome on August 4, 2017 in Gauteng province of Johannesburg, South Africa. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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In this series, 8p9s writer Tony East breaks down the contract situation of each Pacers player. In this edition, we’ll look at Victor Oladipo, the new offensive leader of the franchise.

Victor Oladipo was acquired from the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Paul George trade. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

Now, Dipo is on the Pacers, and he brings a lot to the table that the Pacers frequently don’t have. Outside of Danny Granger, the team hasn’t had a real offensive threat at the shooting guard position since Reggie Miller was on the team.

He’s just alright from an efficiency standpoint, but he has improved his effective field goal percentage every season. It’s tough to read if he has more untapped potential, as his season with the Thunder seems like a lost one. The martyr-ball style offense centered around Russell Westbrook was not beneficial for Oladipo’s growth as a scorer or player, as his role changed night in and night out.

Thankfully, now with the Pacers, he becomes the bona fide first option on offense. He should see his largest career usage rate, and it will allow him to become even more polished at the skills he already has.

McMillan will look to get Oladipo into scoring options using the pick and roll as much as they can. Here, Dipo navigates the screen, ball fakes the big man in the lane and blows by him for the layup:

That exact play, but with Myles Turner, will be the Pacers biggest threat on offense this season. Fans will love it, and that is why Oladipo will be paid to do it.

2017-18 season

Oladipo signed a rookie extension while in Oklahoma City last season. He will make $84 million over the next four seasons, at a flat $21 million per season.

Some people will say that is an overpay, but I don’t agree. The going rate for a starter in the NBA is between $15-20 million, and that is where Victor would fall. Owners pay a player for what they expect them to contribute over the life of a contract, and there is a reason to think Oladipo will improve over the next four seasons. So even if he isn’t worth $21 million now, he presumably will be by the end of the contract.

2018 summer and beyond

This one is easy. The Pacers don’t have any decisions to make on Victor Oladipo’s future with the team for a while. He will be one of the best players in Indiana for the foreseeable future, and he’s being paid for it.

Prediction time

The only prediction to be made is if Oladipo will be worth his contract, and I certainly believe so. He can run an offense if called upon to do so, and if his usage rate gets back to the figure it was when he played for the Magic, his stats will be very nice.

Going forward, Oladipo will be a mainstay in the Pacers rotation. He will be a leader for the team as they transition to a new era of Pacers basketball.

Next: Pacers fans, let's just move on

Hopefully, his leadership skills will allow him to excel on the court as well.