Victor Oladipo Rumors: 'Rumblings' Star Has Been Open to Trade Since January

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistOctober 7, 2020

Indiana Pacers' Victor Oladipo (4) dribbles during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks, Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020, in Indianapolis. New York won 92-85. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Darron Cummings/Associated Press

Victor Oladipo's desire to leave the Indiana Pacers may not be a recent development.

The Athletic's Jared Weiss reported Sept. 27 that Oladipo is "looking to move on this offseason," a rumor the Indianapolis Star's J. Michael corroborated.

The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor provided more insight Wednesday: "Oladipo's contract is up following the 2020-21 season. Since January, there have been rumblings among my own league sources about Oladipo's openness to a trade."

Only three years after watching the Paul George saga play out, Pacers fans will understandably be frustrated the same thing might be happening with Oladipo.

The circumstances don't necessarily mirror one another, though.

After missing all but six games during the 2014-15 season because of a fractured tibia and fibula, George immediately returned to his usual self. He was an All-Star in 2016 and 2017, averaging what was then a career-high 23.7 points in 2016-17.

Oladipo, on the other hand, has struggled since coming back from a ruptured right quad tendon.

He averaged 14.5 points and 2.9 assists over 19 regular-season appearances while shooting 39.4 percent from the field and 31.7 percent from three. His playoff performance wasn't much better, as he averaged 17.8 points but made only 39.3 percent of his shots in Indiana's first-round exit.

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O'Connor referenced Oladipo's contract situation. The 28-year-old is due to earn $21 million in 2020-21 before becoming an unrestricted free agent. Retaining a guy like Oladipo is more important for a team like the Pacers since they aren't normally a free-agent destination for players of his caliber.

Having said that, signing Oladipo—an All-Star in 2018 and 2019—to a massive extension could obviously backfire. Because of his poor finish to 2019-20, his trade value has taken a hit. Still, dealing him now might be the most pragmatic move for the Pacers.