Although he will be eligible for free agency in the summer of 2021, thus possibly making him a short-term solution in the trade market, Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo just might be among the top offseason targets for the Golden State Warriors, as suggested by a recent report.
On Thursday morning, Bleacher Report‘s Dan Favale published a list of five players who might be traded in the 2020 offseason along with their “most intriguing” landing spots, noting in his entry for Oladipo that the two-time All-Star is in an “awkward” situation with the Pacers. As explained, this was highlighted by how he originally decided to sit out the NBA restart in July, only to join his teammates as they eventually got swept by the Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs.
Despite the way Oladipo’s situation could make him a one-year rental if he gets shipped elsewhere before the 2020-21 season, Favale hinted that Golden State “would be wise” to make a move for the 28-year-old. This, he noted, is also given the belief that the former All-Defensive Team selection already has an idea of where he wants to go when he becomes a free agent.
“[The Warriors] have enough question marks on their roster without adding Oladipo’s post-injury trajectory into the fold—Draymond Green’s aging curve, Klay Thompson’s return from a torn left ACL—but their own timeline mandates taking a star-sized swing.”
Talking about how the Warriors could benefit from an Oladipo deal, Favale wrote that the team won’t be “working with a whole lot” beyond their top three players, namely Stephen Curry, Thompson, and Green. He stressed that it might not be enough to rely on a supporting cast that currently features Andrew Wiggins, incoming second-year men Eric Paschall and Jordan Poole, big men Marquese Chriss and Kevon Looney, and the No. 2 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, among others.
While the Bleacher Report writer pointed out that Oladipo’s injury history makes him a risky acquisition, it would be “much more admirable” for the Warriors to target him instead of sticking with the status quo. He added that the former second overall draft choice likely won’t have a hard time fitting in on offense, while his defensive ability could allow Thompson to focus on the “easier” wing assignment on most occasions.
As there have been myriad rumors suggesting that Golden State might use its No. 2 pick in this year’s draft as trade bait, Favale wrote that the lack of “star intrigue” and consensus top choices might make it less attractive to the Pacers. He suggested the possibility of the Warriors also packaging the 2021 top-three-protected pick they acquired from the Minnesota Timberwolves but also cautioned that this might be too much to sacrifice for a “might-be All-Star on an expiring contract.”
In conclusion, Favale recommended a few hypothetical trades, including one that would allow the Warriors to get Oladipo and center Myles Turner from the Pacers in return for Wiggins, Looney, Poole, and the aforementioned first-round selections. However, he also speculated that such ideas might require the addition of a third team to make things work out for everyone involved.