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Victor Oladipo Rumors: Pacers Upset Star Asked to Join Knicks, Heat, Raptors

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 12, 2020

Indiana Pacers' Victor Oladipo (4) dribbles during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Toronto Raptors, Friday, Feb. 7, 2020, in Indianapolis. Toronto won 115-106. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Darron Cummings/Associated Press

Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo reportedly asked members of the Miami Heat, New York Knicks and Toronto Raptors to get their teams to acquire him in a trade.

J. Michael of the Indianapolis Star noted Thursday that Oladipo made the statements in front of his Pacers teammates, which drew ire within the locker room:

It's the latest sign the relationship between Indiana and Oladipo may be ending.

In September, Jared Weiss of The Athletic reported the two-time All-Star was "looking to move on this offseason" after missing most of the 2019-20 campaign while recovering from a ruptured quadriceps tendon suffered in January 2019.

Marc Berman of the New York Post noted Oladipo was among the players being considered by the Knicks in their first offseason under new team president Leon Rose.

The Milwaukee Bucks were also in contract with Indiana about the second overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft, per Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer.

For his part, Oladipo explained during an Instagram Live interview with rapper Fat Joe (via Dijo Songco of Clutch Points) he didn't know where the trade rumors were coming from and added his main focus was capturing some "hardware."

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"I'm a Pacer. I'm a Pacer," Oladipo said in September. "Those rumors on the internet, I don't know where they're coming from. I'm just focused on getting my knee right for next year."

He added: "Everybody who knows me knows that I'm all about winning. I feel that that's what you're defined as in this game."

Oladipo has one season left on his four-year, $85 million contract with the Pacers. He'll count $21 million against the salary cap for 2020-21, a factor in any potential trade talks.

The 28-year-old Indiana University product ranked ninth among all NBA players in ESPN's real plus-minus during his breakout 2017-18 season, but his numbers have dipped the past two years.

He averaged 14.5 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 19 games after returning from the knee injury this past season.

The drop in performance combined with the high cap hit could make it difficult for the Pacers to obtain a strong return for him in a trade, but with his contract set to expire after next season, there might not be a perfect solution available.

Indiana may wait until the season begins and hope he can regain his previous form, which would make him a coveted trade target heading into the deadline.

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