Despite losing Paul George in the summer of 2017, the Indiana Pacers still managed to remain competitive in the Eastern Conference, thanks to Victor Oladipo. Since being traded to the Pacers, Oladipo has succeeded to turn himself into an All-Star caliber talent and a reliable leader in Indiana. Last season, the 27-year-old shooting guard averaged 18.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, 5.2 assists, and 1.7 steals while shooting 42.3 percent from the field and 34.3 percent from beyond the arc.
If Oladipo immediately regains his All-Star form when he returns from an injury, the Pacers will once again become a team to watch out for in the 2019-20 NBA season. However, if the Pacers are serious about fully dominating the Eastern Conference and winning the NBA championship title, Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report suggested that they should prioritize adding a “second elite” alongside Oladipo. One of their potential targets on the trade market in the 2019 NBA offseason is Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards.
“Victor Oladipo’s All-Star emergence gave the post-Paul George Indiana Pacers a new lease on life. But his ceiling and theirs are both capped by the absence of a second elite. Bradley Beal could change that. The 26-year-old is precisely the kind of high-level shot-creator and three-point splasher who could make Oladipo’s life not only easier but more successful. The in-prime perimeter stars are each plus players at both ends of the court, and with the likes of Myles Turner, Malcolm Brogdon and Jeremy Lamb rounding out the supporting cast, the Pacers could be a two-way problem.”
Bradley Beal would undeniably be an incredible addition to the Pacers, giving them a very reliable scoring option next to Victor Oladipo. In 82 games he played last season, Beal posted incredible numbers, averaging 25.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 1.5 steals while shooting 47.5 percent from the field and 35.1 percent from beyond the arc. After the years he spent playing with John Wall, Beal likely won’t have a hard time sharing the backcourt with another All-Star caliber talent in Indiana.
In the proposed trade deal by Bleacher Report, the Pacers will be sending a trade package including Domantas Sabonis, Aaron Holiday, T.J. Warren, Doug McDermott, and a 2022 first-round pick to the Wizards in exchange for Beal. The deal works on ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine.
Though the Pacers’ suggested offer looks intriguing, Buckley believes that the deal is unlikely to happen until the Wizards finally decide to take a different route and undergo a full-scale rebuild. The Wizards recently revealed their plan to offer Bradley Beal a three-year, $111 million contract extension. If they fail to reach a mutual agreement, expect trade rumors surrounding Beal to heat up.