Indiana Pacers: Stop the nonsense, Victor Oladipo is not getting traded

Indiana Pacers, Victor Oladipo (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Indiana Pacers, Victor Oladipo (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Victor Oladipo is the player the Indiana Pacers will be building around for the foreseeable future, despite his looming free agency

Though it might seem reasonable to ponder the possibility of happening, the Indiana Pacers will not be trading Victor Oladipo.

Even the smartest of NBA analysts can sometimes fall victim to looking at contract situations and team motives as black and white. That’s what’s happening with Victor Oladipo and the Indiana Pacers.

It makes sense to draw the connection between Oladipo and “players that might be traded” because of the circumstance he and the Pacers find themselves in.

The facts:

  1. Oladipo is entering the final year of his contract and could sign with any team he desires in the summer of 2021, leaving the Pacers high and dry
  2. Oladipo has only played 13 NBA games in the last year-plus
  3. The total picture of what Oladipo is following a gruesome quad injury is nebulous

All of this led to the Pacers lowballing Oladipo on a contract extension prior to this year. It shouldn’t be viewed as a sign of disrespect, rather, it should be viewed as the Pacers saying, “we want you here, and we’ll work out a fair price down the line.”

Let’s get one thing straight — Though there are plenty of teams that would love to acquire his services, perhaps for a strong haul of assets, Oladipo is not going anywhere via trade and the Pacers are going to do everything in their power to make sure his next contract is signed with Indiana.

Despite that fact, teams are expected to monitor Oladipo as his free agency comes up, according to Ian Begley of SNY. Perhaps some teams may try to trade for him in the final year of his contract.

As one-half of the trade return in the Paul George deal, Oladipo was expected to take on a significant role with the Pacers in leading them into their next era. In his first year with the team, he did all of that and then some, winning the Most Improved Player of the Year award and getting selected to his first All-Star game.

Oladipo would reel off an even better season the following year, one worthy of a second All-Star nod before going out with an injury in January 2019.

Meanwhile, Sabonis (the other half of the George deal) has launched himself into a role where he’s established himself as the team’s most important player when Oladipo is out.

Suffice to say it piques the curiosity as to what the Pacers could be when healthy.

Though Oladipo’s 13 games are no good sample size to critique and measure,  there were some bright spots. There wasn’t anything completely alarming aside from general getting back to it hiccups and shaking off the rust. And by the time Oladipo to started to look like himself again — scoring 27 points against the Boston Celtics on  March 10th — the season was suspended due to the ongoing pandemic.

Oladipo is a Hoosier, and Oladipo is a Pacer. The team has stood by him during his injury recovery, and it would take a shocking development for them to move on from him at this point.

Having built the team around him, there’s no reason for the Pacers to trade him. Yes, there is the possibility he could walk after next season for nothing to a new team, but to build a winner, the Pacers need to bring in winning talent and keep them around, selling these players on their winning culture so that when their free agency comes, they are willing to re-sign.

Furthermore, a report from IndyStar (subscription required) notes that the Pacers are not interested in even hearing deals for Oladipo, and their primary offseason objective is coming to an agreeable extension with their team captain.

Oladipo is here to stay, at least for now.

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