Does Victor Oladipo make sense for the Hawks?

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Victor Oladipo does not seem long for Indiana.

 

 

Chase gave us a taste of some blockbuster trades for the Hawks earlier this month, and with the draft less than a week away, Oladipo could be on the move soon.

“Oladipo became a star in Indiana for the Pacers after being traded from the Thunder in return for Paul George. He made back to back All-Star teams in 2018 and 2019; however, a knee injury in 2019 cost him the remainder of the season, and he only appeared in 19 games in 2020. Now, as he enters the final year of his current contract, the two sides appear to be parting ways.

Many people believe Oladipo will find a new home before the start of next season, and the Pacers, who look like they could be headed towards a full-blown rebuild, will want to get whatever they can for the two-time All-Star. The earlier they trade him, the better, and the Hawks make a bit of sense. Oladipo could be that second ball-handler that Atlanta needs, and he would also severely upgrade their defense in the backcourt. However, after such a debilitating knee injury, it’s hard to guess what his value might be on the trade market. For some teams, that injury may prevent them from pursuing him at all, regardless of the asking price.

Potential Trade: Kevin Huerter, De’Andre Hunter, 2021 first-round pick for Victor Oladipo”

 

I think this report has seriously tanked Dipo’s value, and the package Chase put together could possibly be taken down a notch. I laid out three draft day trades for the Hawks here, but shortly after, some of the reports have been disputed with the teams involved.

 

This could all be a smokescreen on either side. I do firmly believe that the Timberwolves and Celtics are interested. Minnesota’s trade makes a lot of sense, but Boston’s does not. I wouldn’t be surprised if Indiana enters this conversation.

Victor Oladipo was drafted 2nd overall by the Orlando Magic out of Indiana in the infamous 2013 draft behind Anthony Bennett. Scouts praised Oladipo’s athleticism & defense; his pro comparison coming out was future Hall of Famer Dwyane Wade. Oladipo came nowhere close to that billing early in his career. He never averaged over 18 PPG or shot over 44% from the floor with a pretty average three-point shot in Orlando. He was traded to Oklahoma City in a package for Serge Ibaka before the 2016 season, and while his shooting percentages improved, his PPG, rebounds, and assists were still very mediocre. He never found his groove next to Russell Westbrook… but then, something happened.

Oladipo was part of a trade that saw the last disgruntled Pacer Paul George come to Oklahoma City. Oladipo seemed to be on his last “prove it” run, and boy did he ever.

 

Victor Oladipo 2017-2018: 23.1 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 4.3 APG, 2.4 SPG, 0.8 BPG, 48% FG, 37% 3P

 

Those 2.4 steals per game and total steals led the whole NBA, and if Rudy Gobert didn’t have a chokehold on the DPOY award — Oladipo may have won it. He racked up some hardware as well. He was named to the All-Star team & got the nod for the All-Defensive First Team. On top of these achievements, he won Most Improved Player & was All-NBA Third Team.

2018-2019 wasn’t as kind to him.

His PPG dropped to 18.8, but he set career highs in rebounds & assists. This is also when the injury bug began to bite. Since that season began, his knee and quad have limited him to 55 games over two seasons. In his defense, he chose to opt-out of 2020 to rehab. Two questions beg to be asked:

 

1) Is he going to be the player he was before his knee injury?

2) Will he gel with former Head Coach Nate McMillan now on the staff?

 

I can’t answer those questions, but with his stock as low as ever and a weak draft class — he may be worth a roll of the dice. He will bring invaluable defense to this team when healthy, and his three-point shooting has been at or over 40% over the last three seasons. That’ll play on the Hawks. I wouldn’t be mad at all to flip the 6th pick for him, but the compensation in return may prove to be too much. Buckle up folks, the rumor mill is getting hot.

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