As explained on Monday by Bleacher Report‘s Mo Dakhil, there are still multiple reasons why the Pacers might decide to ship Oladipo elsewhere this offseason. These include the rumors that he is unhappy with his current team, the continued injury struggles that limited him to just 19 regular-season games, and his “lack of synergy” with backcourt partner Malcolm Brogdon, who moved to Indiana in 2019-20 after spending the first few years of his career with the Milwaukee Bucks. All this could potentially lead to a “divorce” between Oladipo and the Pacers as he prepares to enter the final year of his contract.
Given these factors, Dakhil suggested that the Clippers could acquire Oladipo for a package that includes two veteran guards — Lou Williams and Patrick Beverley. He predicted that the deal will allow Brogdon to step up as the “leading man” in Indiana’s backcourt, with Beverley contributing mainly on the defensive end and three-time Sixth Man of the Year winner Williams providing instant offense off the bench.
Meanwhile, Oladipo could emerge as the Clippers’ “missing piece” if the hypothetical trade pushes forward, even if he can no longer be considered a “leading man” due to his recent injury history. Dakhil noted that aside from his two-way ability as a scorer and defender, the 28-year-old is capable of bringing the ball up the court and running the floor, which could make him a solid secondary playmaker for the team’s new head coach, Tyronn Lue. The Bleacher Report writer, however, warned that there are some caveats to keep in mind when it comes to this proposed deal.
“This trade is not without its issues. The biggest risk is sending out two rotation players for a guy who has played in just 55 games over the last two seasons. They already have to work in load management for [Kawhi] Leonard, and Oladipo may never return to his star form even if he’s healthy.”
In the 2019-20 season, Oladipo averaged just 14.5 points and 2.9 assists per game and shot only 31.7 percent from beyond the arc. This represented a significant decline from his pre-injury numbers, as he produced 23.1 points and 4.3 assists per contest and converted on 37.1 percent of his three-point shots in the 2017-18 campaign.
In addition to Oladipo, there have been a few other players suggested as potential offseason acquisitions who could improve the Clippers’ backcourt rotation. These include New Orleans Pelicans point guard Lonzo Ball, who may be facing uncertainty following the organization’s acquisitions of veteran Eric Bledsoe and 2020 first-round pick Kira Lewis Jr.