What would a Victor Oladipo MVP season look like?

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 18: Victor Oladipo #4 of team LeBron (and Indiana Pacers) is introduced during the NBA All-Star Game as a part of 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend at STAPLES Center on February 18, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 18: Victor Oladipo #4 of team LeBron (and Indiana Pacers) is introduced during the NBA All-Star Game as a part of 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend at STAPLES Center on February 18, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The chances of Victor Oladipo winning an MVP award are slim, but with another leap in his production and another unexpectedly good season from the Indiana Pacers, it is possible.

Want to put your money where your mouth is? Indiana Pacers star Victor Oladipo has 75/1 shot at winning the NBA’s most valuable player award according to OddsShark.com.

Once you run that number through a betting calculator, the implied odds are 1.32%.

If you’re really bad at math or gambling, those aren’t great odds. But if you’re really good at quoting Star Wars, you know to never tell me the odds.

The odds and history aren’t in Oladipo’s favor, but we can still picture what an MVP season for the franchise player would look like.

A quick Pacers history lesson

How many Indiana Pacers have won the NBA MVP award? Zero.

How many Indiana Pacers have won the ABA MVP award? Three.

Back in the ABA days, Mel Daniels picked up the franchise’s first in 1969 with 24 points and 16.5 rebounds a game. It was Slick Leonard’s first season coaching Indiana and they would make the ABA Finals but lost the series 4-1 to the Oakland Oaks.

A year later the Pacers would win their first of three ABA titles, but Daniels wouldn’t win the MVP award again until 1971 when he posted 21 points and 18 rebounds a game in the regular season.

A few more years would pass with two other ABA titles being won before George McGinnis shared the award with Julius Irving in 1975. McGinnis posted 29.8 points, 14.3 rebounds, 6.3 assists, and 2.3 steals per game in his MVP year, while Irving averaged 27.4 points, 10.7 rebounds, 5.2 assists, and 2.3 steals a game. Only Irving’s 2.4 blocks a game bested McGinnis, who averaged 0.7 a game.

But back to the present and Victor Oladipo

If Victor Oladipo wants to win an MVP award, he is going to need to step up his game and have a little luck on his side.

Last season, Oladipo posted a career-best 23.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 4.3 assists a game, but that’s well off the pace of most recent MVPs.

Outside of Stephen Curry’s first MVP season in 2015, every MVP since 2005 — after Steve Nash’s assist-laden back-to-back MVPs — averaged at least 24 points a game, with the average being 28.2 since the Nash years. If you go back through the NBA’s entire history, including a few players who had scoring averages in the teens, the league’s MVP averaged 26 points a game.

So on scoring along, Oladipo needs to find a way to score another bucket or two every game. Considering his usage rate was the 10th highest in the NBA, he likely would have to get this by cleaning up his scoring a little; by either finishing at the rim better or making one more 3-pointer a game.

Oladipo makes a very respectable 47.7 percent of his shots, but the last 12 MVPs made 48.9 percent of their attempts while shooting 37.7 percent from deep. Oladipo’s 37.1 percent from deep is just behind that mark, leading us back to him finishing at the rim better. That’s where he could make this leap into the MVP scoring range.

Not to harp on this, and his 67 percent accuracy at the rim puts him in the 81st percentile in the NBA, but unless you expect him to take and make more mid-range looks or non-corner 3-point shots, finishing is one of the few areas you might hope for improvement from Vic.

Lastly, his 79.9 percent free throw shooting certain could use some tweaking. If he shot his career high 83 percent from the charity stripe last season, his scoring average would have been .2 points per game higher. That seems insignificant, but its free points you can get by doing nothing else different. When chasing a higher scoring average and an MVP award, that is important.

But scoring isn’t the only thing Victor Oladipo needs to improve

While it doesn’t seem likely that Oladipo can start grabbing or being given too many more rebounds — unless he is going full-Russell Westbrook — he needs to hand out more assists too.

Quickly hitting on those rebounds, none of the last dozen MVPs (none of which are traditional bigs) averaged fewer than 6.9 rebounds a game compared to Victor’s 5.2. Maybe he can sneak one more in a game, but like his rim-finishing, assists seems are a more likely area of growth.

His 2.4 steals a game are already MVP-level, as Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson, Stephen Curry, and Larry Bird are the only MVPs to average two or more a game.

More from 8 Points, 9 Seconds

Getting into the advanced stats, Oladipo earned 8.3 win shares last season, which isn’t bad, but most MVP’s average around 16 on the season. Oladipo was ranked 23rd in win shares last season, but the real MVP candidates find a way to nearly double what Victor did in that regard.

The formula for win shares is a bit complicated, but just know they’re an attempt to quantify how many wins a player contributes to their team.

If Oladipo wants to win the MVP, his productions in all facets of the game, sans steals, needs to improve. If he does that, the Pacers may win more, and that is the final and perhaps most important thing that isn’t directly in Victor’s hands.

Oladipo and the Pacers must win ever more this season

Unless the Pacers are in the top two in the Eastern Conference, there is almost no chance of Victor Oladipo winning an MVP. It’s as simple as that.

But there’s a bit of correlation here, in theory.

If Oladipo elevates his game once again and posts career highs across the board, the Pacers are likely to win more games. And if Indiana wins more games, then there is a real reason for Oladipo’s name to be in the conversation.

An MVP season for Victor Oladipo looks something like 28 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists a game, while the Pacers win close to 60 games.

That would be a three point, one rebound, and two assist improvement for Oladipo, and nearly 12 wins for the Pacers.

Next. Myles Turner using yoga to become a better player. dark

That’s no easy take to accomplish, but no one expected Victor Oladipo to take a leap last season, either. I wouldn’t be in a rush to be my life savings on him winning, but maybe if I had a few extra bucks, could be a fun bet for Indiana Pacers fans.