IND trades with MIA
.The Trade: Victor Oladipo to Heat for Kendrick Nunn, Duncan Robinson and Kelly Olynyk
The Pacers are motoring toward a crossroads with Oladipo—and they only have so much control over this situation. It's probably in his best financial interest to decline any extension offer this offseason, which means he's likely looking at unrestricted free agency after next season. There have been rumblings that he "didn't plan on re-signing," per The Athletic's Sam Amick, which gives Indiana plenty to think about.
"We don't feel any rush to make a quick decision on Victor. We have him for another year. After next year we can engage in negotiations. But it will be up to him," Pacers president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard told reporters.
If Indy thinks Oladipo is leaving—or isn't sure about giving max money to someone who is still dealing with the aftereffects of a January 2019 knee injury and doesn't have a huge sample of stardom—then trading him now is the right call.
Miami adds its third star to complement Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, and it doesn't even have to sacrifice Tyler Herro to do it. Indiana adds three players it can plug into next season's rotation, as Robinson is an elite shooter, Nunn is a clever shot-maker and Olynyk can take on stretch-center duties if the Pacers reconfigure their frontcourt
MIN trades with IND
Trade: Jarrett Culver, James Johnson and No. 1 pick to Pacers for Victor Oladipo
The Timberwolves are both on the clock and open for business.
"Sources around the league expect that [Timberwolves president Gersson Rosas will] work the phones over the next couple of months at least to see what's out there on the market," The Athletic's Sam Vecenie wrote. "The consensus around the league is that this will simply be a value play for Rosas."
Could Minnesota value Oladipo more than Culver and the No. 1 pick? Absolutely. Minnesota needs to win sooner than later to justify the D'Angelo Russell trade, and that gets a lot easier with a third star—especially one who defends. If Oladipo gets back to his All-Star form, he's almost a player with no weaknesses.
Now, could Indiana value this package over Oladipo? Sure. The pick might bring the next star to the Hoosier State, Culver is one year removed from being the sixth overall pick, and Johnson's expiring $16 million salary will look awfully attractive to any team trying to maximize its cap space for 2021.
TOR trades with IND
The Trade: Fred VanVleet (sign-and-trade) to Pacers for Victor Oladipo
The Raptors have carefully managed their cap—all in preparation of an ambitious run at Giannis Antetokounmpo in 2021—to the point they don't have many big contracts to throw around in a blockbuster. Pascal Siakam is going nowhere, Kyle Lowry is approaching the final year of his pact, and Norman Powell isn't netting them a difference-maker.
So, a sign-and-swap with VanVleet must suffice, and it might pique the Pacers' interest as their best option for moving on without Oladipo. Having VanVleet and Malcolm Brogdon in the same backcourt creates major versatility at both ends of the court, and each is a sharp enough shooter to increase the potency of Domantas Sabonis' passing.
Rather than paying VanVleet, Toronto takes a one-year flier on Oladipo to remain in championship contention and maintain maximum flexibility for what it hopes can be a transformational offseason. Assuming the Raptors have already budgeted for a new deal with VanVleet, this could actually increase the Raptors' buying power and maybe gets them an in with Oladipo, who wouldn't be a bad consolation prize if Antetokounmpo declines a trip north of the border.
Don't like the MIA trade but I like the next two. The MIN trade allows us to flip the pick for even greater value; and the TOR deal is solid with how VanVleet has been ballin'.