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Victor Oladipo Trade Rumors: Teams Eyeing Pacers Star After Contract Talks Stall

Blake SchusterCorrespondent IIIMay 1, 2020

Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo (4) reacts to making a shot late in the fourth quarter against the Boston Celtics in an NBA basketball game in Indianapolis, Tuesday, March 10, 2020. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
AJ MAST/Associated Press

Victor Oladipo became one of the most vital members of the Indiana Pacers, as well as a fan favorite, after the team acquired him from the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Paul George trade.

That might not be enough to keep him in the Circle City long-term. 

According to SNY's Ian Begley, contract talks between the Pacers and the two-time All-Star have reached an impasse, with the team already committing $58 million in salary for 2021-22 to Myles Turner, Domantas Sabonis and Malcolm Brogdon.

That's opened the door for clubs like the New York Knicks, who have plenty of cash, to try to pry the guard out of Indy before his contract expires after next season. 

The idea of Oladipo becoming available isn't new. 

ESPN's Tim Bontemps reported in late February the option was on the table. While the Pacers would certainly prefer to keep their star in Indianapolis long-term, they may not want to go over the salary cap to keep him. 

That's where a team like the Knicks could come in. Aside from having the money required to sign Oladipo—and the immediate need for a star player—the franchise has plenty of draft picks over the next few years that could entice Indiana to make a deal. 

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According to Begley, the Pacers had discussed a four-year, $80 million deal with Oladipo's camp prior to the 2019-20 season. Oladipo, who led the team to the playoffs in each of his first two years in Indiana, is finishing out his four-year, $85 million deal. 

Considering Oladipo's recent injury, it would be a risk for a small-market team like the Pacers to offer him big money. He's played only 49 games over the last season-and-a-half because of a ruptured quad tendon and just made his return to action in January.

There's still no denying his game-changing ability. During his last full season in 2017-18, Oladipo averaged 23.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.4 steals per game while shooting 47.7 percent from the floor en route to winning the Most Improved Player award. 

Begley believes the Knicks could be "aggressive" if Oladipo becomes available.