NBA Free Agency 2020: Latest on Victor Oladipo Rumors and Joe Harris BuzzMay 4, 2020
Among many disappointing parts of the 2019-20 NBA season's pause, the abrupt stop for Victor Oladipo's return from injury is a big one.
Oladipo missed the first 47 games—three months—of the campaign while working his way back from a horrible leg injury. The ruptured quad tendon in his right knee limited Oladipo to 36 appearances last season and placed him on a long road to recovery.
He returned in late January and played in 13 of the Indiana Pacers' next 18 games. But just as Oladipo started to regain his All-Star form—he scored a season-best 27 points March 10 against the Boston Celtics—the shutdown happened.
Are the Pacers ready to increase an extension offer?
Oladipo is nearing the final season of a four-year, $84 million deal, and previous efforts at an extension were not successful. Ian Begley of SNY reported the talks included a four-year contract for "around $80 million" but didn't progress much.
As a result, front offices around the league are monitoring Oladipo.
"Opposing teams are keeping an eye on the situation in Indy because the club will likely have to commit significant money to Victor Oladipo in the summer of 2021 if it wants to keep him," Begley said.
After his trade from the Oklahoma City Thunder in July 2017, Oladipo emerged as the Pacers' key player. He earned two All-Star trips while averaging 21.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 2.1 steals in 111 appearances in 2017-18 and 2018-19.
If the Pacers feel Oladipo can return to that level, he'll probably be worth an even greater price. Oladipo effectively bet on himself when turning down $80 million during his recovery.
Indiana is basically never in the luxury tax. So, the thought of an extension with the $18-plus million salaries also due annually to Malcolm Brogdon, Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis is rare territory for the Pacers. As Begley noted, they could explore a trade for Oladipo before his contract expires.
But as he becomes eligible to officially sign an extension this summer, perhaps there's a middle ground that suits both the team and Oladipo to keep him in Indiana.
Will the same type of compromise apply to Brooklyn Nets wing Joe Harris, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent?
While the sharpshooter previously expressed a desire to stay in Brooklyn with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, Harris has outplayed his $7.7 million salary. He's averaged 13.9 points with a 41.2 three-point clip this season.
Given his long-range prowess, it's likely Harris could ask for a contract worth $12-plus million annually. But the Nets already have $133.7 million committed to the 2020-21 roster, per HoopsHype. Though they can re-sign him using Bird Rights, the luxury tax bill is looking quite expensive for the Nets.
At least for now, however, Harris said he isn't focused on what free agency might hold for him.
"[I haven't] really thought about it a ton," he told Jeff White of VirginiaSports.com. "It's one of those things where I'll just sort of cross that bridge when I get to it. Right now all the focus is on prioritizing your health and well-being."
Still, whether it's from the Nets or another organization, Harris should be headed for a nice raise this summer.
Follow Bleacher Report writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.