With the Indiana Pacers and Victor Oladipo apparently stalemated on contract extension talks, the New York Knicks may be one of the teams that might show interest in the former Most Improved Player winner if he gets placed on the trading block.
In a report published on Friday, Ian Begley of SportsNet New York wrote that a lot of teams will be closely monitoring the situation with the Pacers, as the team has close to $60 million worth of salary-cap space for the 2021-22 season committed to three of their top players — big men Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis and point guard Malcolm Brogdon. As pointed out, Indiana can go over the cap to offer a contract extension to Oladipo, but would have to deal with the possibility that this would entail a “significant financial commitment.”
As Oladipo only returned to action in January after spending over a year sidelined with a ruptured quadriceps tendon and was still trying to regain his form when the NBA went on hiatus in March, Begley wrote that several teams will be keeping tabs on his progress in the event the 2019-20 season resumes. These teams, he added, include the Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, and “plenty” others that could make an “aggressive” offer for the former No. 2 overall draft pick in the 2020 offseason.
Victor Oladipo rises up to throw down his first dunk of the season. pic.twitter.com/AEI2tfkKfo
— NBA (@NBA) February 2, 2020
Currently, Oladipo is in the second-to-the-last year of a contract that is set to expire in the summer of 2021. Citing unnamed sources, Begley also noted that the 28-year-old was in talks with the Pacers to sign a four-year extension worth about $80 million, though these negotiations didn’t yield much progress and both sides decided to “table the talks.” The two-time All-Star, per Basketball-Reference, has averages of 13.8 points, 3.2 rebounds, and three assists in 13 games this season, with shooting percentages of 39.1 percent from the field and 30.4 percent from three-point range.
Commenting on the new rumors, Bleacher Report wrote that the Knicks have the resources to acquire Oladipo and could benefit from having him around, as the team has stockpiled numerous draft picks for the next few years and has the “immediate” need for some star power after years of missing the playoffs. The Pacers, on the other hand, might find it risky to invest money in re-signing their erstwhile starting shooting guard, as injuries have limited him to just 49 games since the 2018-19 season.
Prior to his injury-riddled 2018-19 and 2019-20 campaigns, Oladipo enjoyed a career-best season in 2017-18, where he won the Most Improved Player award with averages of 23.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 2.4 assists for the Pacers. He is, however, not the only backcourt star who has been linked to the Knicks in recent weeks, as various reports have suggested that New York might make a move for Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Chris Paul in the upcoming offseason.