As suggested by Bleacher Report in a recent article, the Miami Heat could potentially improve their chances of winning an NBA championship in the 2020-21 season by acquiring shooting guard Victor Oladipo from the Indiana Pacers.
According to the outlet's Zach Buckley, Oladipo is currently not among the players that Heat president Pat Riley is looking to acquire during the 2020 offseason, though there have been rumors that he is "looking to move on" from the Pacers ahead of his free agency next year. There is also an apparent perception that the former No. 2 overall draft pick is no longer the same player he was before he suffered a knee injury in January 2019. As such, his trade value is reportedly "murky," with a previous report suggesting that Miami has "cooled on the notion" of trading for him.
Despite the uncertainty regarding Oladipo's health and contract status, Buckley recommended a deal that would allow the Heat to get him in exchange for three players — incoming second-year men Kendrick Nunn and KZ Okpala and veteran Andre Iguodala. He suggested that Oladipo could address some of the team's weaknesses, including its lack of "point-of-attack" defense and shot creation from three-point range -- if he's healthy in time for the 2020-21 campaign.
"It'd be a gamble that Oladipo could return to form, but the reward seems worth the risk. If he's right, Miami would improve its championship outlook for Jimmy Butler's age-31 season without sacrificing Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson or the chance to chase Giannis Antetokounmpo next summer."
As shown on his Basketball-Reference page, Oladipo averaged 14.5 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 2.9 assists in 27.8 minutes per game for the Pacers while starting 16 of the 19 regular-season games he played in 2019-20. His shooting, however, was substantially down from the previous year as he converted on just 39.4 percent of his field goals and 31.7 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc.
As further explained, the trade idea would only work if the Pacers are absolutely sure they want to move on from Oladipo. If it pushes forward, Iguodala would likely be the primary selling point for Indiana, given his leadership, experience, and skill as a defender and playmaker. However, Nunn also has the potential to contribute if traded, as he produced averages of 15.3 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 3.3 assists and made 35 percent of his three-point shots as a rookie in 2019-20, per Basketball-Reference.
Oladipo is not the only starting-caliber guard who has been linked to the Heat in recent trade suggestions. As reported by The Inquisitr, one such proposed deal involved the organization acquiring Jrue Holiday from the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for a package featuring Iguodala and 2019-20 All-Rookie selection Tyler Herro.