Expectations were not super-high for Victor Oladipo when the Indiana Pacers acquired him from the Oklahoma City Thunder. But the former IU star took to his new home and quickly became the rising star the Pacers needed. But it seems that he has no interest in making the Pacers his long-term home.
There had been rumors that he had no interest in staying with the Pacers after he hits free agency following the 2020-21 season’s conclusion. However, it now appears that he prefers to leave sooner rather than later.
NBA teams are prone to trading players that want out so that they get something in return. While that could mean bad things for the team a star leaves, at least they pick up promising players and/or draft picks.
Since the Pacers were willing to comply with Paul George when he wanted out, it is not hard to imagine they will not do the same for Oladipo. So, where is he going to play next season? Bovada.lv has a few ideas:
- Indiana Pacers+175
- Miami Heat+300
- Dallas Mavericks+600
- Denver Nuggets+650
- Boston Celtics+350
- Toronto Raptors+900
- Sacramento Kings+1000
It is not hard to imagine him staying in Indiana if the new head coach can convince him the team is headed in the right direction. Depending on how well Miami does in the NBA Finals, the Heat could trade some of their youth for an established talent like Oladipo. It would not be too shocking to see the Celtics trade Gordon Hayward for Oladipo.
Boston has played well with their current roster but cannot seem to find their way into the NBA Finals or even the Conference Finals. If the Celtics were to make a change, Hayward would likely be the first guy on the block. Indiana might be interested in bringing the former Butler star home, too.
It would not be shocking to see the Dallas Mavericks make a move here. Mark Cuban made a big move last year when he acquired Kristaps Porzingas from the New York Knicks. With an emerging star in Luka Doncic leading the way, the Mavericks made it back into the playoff picture. But to compete with the Clippers and Lakers, Cuban knows he needs something else.
Oladipo could make an impact with the Nuggets. But with as far as they made it this year, would they want to risk team chemistry by taking away a few players and adding another?
Toronto is said to be interested in getting in on the Giannis Antetokounmpo sweepstakes when he becomes a free agent. Acquiring Oladipo could go a long way towards proving to him they are serious about becoming a perennial contender.
As for Sacramento, the Kings have some pieces potentially worth trading for. But if they were to get rid of those pieces, it is hard to see the Kings sliding into the playoff picture in the near future.
So—how should you bet?
Going with the Pacers would be the safe bet depending on who the team hires as its new head coach. The right person could convince him to stay. But otherwise, the most intriguing possibilities would be a trade with the Miami Heat or Boston Celtics.