Could the Sixers be planning to pursue Pacers star Victor Oladipo?
Following the Philadelphia 76ers disastrous playoff run this past season, changes to the team were universally expected to follow during the offseason. The organization already addressed their head coach position and front office structure, and now it’s only a matter of time before they start dealing with their horribly constructed roster.
The Sixers have been connected with a variety of different names as of late, with Buddy Hield and Chris Paul emerging to the forefront. However, a surprise name that was mentioned by CBS Sports’ Michael K-B was that of Victor Oladipo.
The Pacers’ premier player the last three seasons, Oladipo has reportedly become disgruntled with the current direction of the Pacers organization. A divorce seems inevitable, and multiple teams will likely be calling up Indy for Oladipo’s services this offseason.
Before we dive too deep into how a hypothetical trade for Oladipo would play out, I want to preface this with the fact that I actually don’t think Oladipo is a great fit for the Sixers. While he is undoubtedly a great player, both on defense and offense, his fit in Philly would be redundant. He’s not a very good three point shooter (31.7% last year), and he tends to operate the best when shooting mid-range jumpers and attacking the basket.
Trading for Oladipo instantly makes the Sixers a better team, don’t get me wrong, but it’s unlikely the move to vault Philly into years worth of title contention.
Now if the Sixers are serious about landing Oladipo, they already have a great “in” with the Pacers organization. They just recently hired Peter Dinwiddie, the Pacers former VP of Basketball Operations, and he’s widely regarded as one of the best young executives in all of basketball. He should have a ton of connections within Indy’s front office, and is likely very familiar with Oladipo the player.
When it comes to the actual trade, one would have to assume that Josh Richardson is the main guy that Indy would want in return. The Pacers already have two solid bigs in Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis, so it’s highly unlikely that they would be interested in Al Horford and his $20+ million cap hit.
Other assets like Matisse Thybulle, Shake Milton, Furkan Korkmaz, and the Sixers 2020 first-round pick could all be in play as well.
Oladipo is a 2x All-Star who is a legit stud in the making. Plenty of teams will come calling for him and it’s unlikely that Philly will get him at a cheap asking price. His recent knee injury and impending free agency status (2021) lowers his value a tad, but he’s still a dominant scorer at a young age.
Pulling the trigger on someone like Victor Oladipo would be a blockbuster, team-altering move for the Sixers front office. It would cost a plethora of assets and there’s no guarantee that he would hang around past 2021. The Sixers tried that with Jimmy Butler in 2019, and it’s already coming back to bite them now.
The perceived interest seems unlikely, but with Elton Brand running the ship and Doc Rivers looking to secure a NBA championship, you just never know.
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