October 30, 2020
NBA Rumors: Pelicans Could Trade Lonzo Ball, Nickeil Alexander-Walker & Darius Miller For Victor Oladipo

Since the 2020 offseason started, rumors have been continuously swirling around veteran shooting guard Victor Oladipo and his future with the Indiana Pacers. Oladipo has already denied reports that he wants out of Indiana, but most people are still expecting him to be traded to a new team this fall. One of the teams that could express interest in acquiring him from the Pacers is the New Orleans Pelicans.

If the Pacers start entertaining offers for Oladipo this offseason, Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report believes that the Pelicans should immediately grab the opportunity to add an All-Star-caliber player for less than an All-Star price. In the proposed scenario, Buckley suggested that the Pelicans could send a package that includes Lonzo Ball, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, and Darius Miller to Indiana in exchange for Oladipo.

"A (healthy) Oladipo and Jrue Holiday could make the short list of the league's best backcourts. They could silence scorers at the defensive end and share the controls at the other. The Pelicans would have Zion Williamson and a presumably re-signed Brandon Ingram at the forward spots, and no shortage of interesting options at center through the draft (Jalen Smith?), free agency (Serge Ibaka? Derrick Favors?) or internal development (Jaxson Hayes). That starting group could be special, and remember, it would all be overseen by Stan Van Gundy."

Victor Oladipo #4 of the Indiana Pacers shoots the ball against the New Orleans Pelicans at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on November 7, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Getty Images | Andy Lyons

Oladipo may have gone through plenty of ups and downs since suffering an injury, but once he returns to full health and regains his All-Star form, he would undeniably be an incredible acquisition for New Orleans. The potential arrival of Oladipo could boost the Pelicans' performance on both ends of the floor, giving them a very reliable scoring option, playmaker, floor-spacer, and perimeter defender.

Last season, the 28-year-old shooting guard averaged 14.5 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 2.9 assists while shooting 39.4 percent from the field and 31.7 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN. Adding the All-NBA version of Oladipo to the core of Jrue Holiday, Brandon Ingram, and Zion Williamson would give the Pelicans a realistic chance of making a huge impact in the loaded Western Conference next year.

Meanwhile, if the trade becomes a reality, it would not only be beneficial for the Pelicans but also for the Pacers. Instead of taking the risk of losing Oladipo in the 2021 free agency without getting anything in return, the proposed deal would enable them to turn his expiring contract into two young and promising guards in Ball and Alexander-Walker, and a shooting specialist in Miller.