The off-season has generated a new list of enticing commodities. We’ll have to wait for several more weeks to learn each players’ fate, but for now, the speculations will continue.
Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo is among the guys on that list. After all, he’s a one-time All-Star who has shown his various abilities on the court.
While the seven-year pro’s versatility is already proven, however, unfortunate events have led to many concerns about the level of play he can now perform in.
Oladipo suffered a ruptured quad tendon on his right knee last January 23, 2019, which caused him to miss the next year and a combined total of 93 games across two seasons. It was tough as he was coming off a career year at the time of the incident – he won the Most Improved Player of the Year for the 2017-18 season, averaged a career-high 23.1 points per game, and also led the league in steals.
In his return to the court this past January, it was obvious that although the tenacity and quickness were still there, a certain bounce in his step was lost. There were minor setbacks as well that barred him from building that much-needed rhythm, including the COVID-19 shutdown in March.
Under limited minutes (27.8 MPG), ‘Dipo finished the regular season averaging a decent-at-best numbers 14.5 PPG, 3.9 RPG, and 2.9 APG on a career-low 39.4% shooting.
Oladipo was unable to score more than 20 points in back-to-back games until the playoffs, and just when he was appearing to finally hit his stride, they got swept by the Miami Heat. He logged 22, 20, and 25 points in Games 2, 3, and 4, respectively – two of those were team-highs.
What happened in the series has also heightened the prevailing questions about his banged up body.
“Why was his production ineffective?”
“Can he be healthy?”
“Is the 2018 version still there?”
“Will he ask for an unreasonable contract extension?”
Those are likely the questions being asked by the potential trade suitors. As exciting it is to have a speedy, two-way guard on your roster, there’s a pretty risky part that could draw front offices away.
If he proves to be done, that’ll mean you would have traded potential key pieces for a one-year rental; if he plays average, he may overvalue himself and contract negotiations could be a headache; if he plays well, you may be cornered into giving sizable deal into a player entering his 30s.
Note that Oladipo will be 29 by the end of the coming season, and he has an expiring $21 million contract. He’s been linked to the Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, and New York Knicks.