The injury to Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo left NBA fans all over feeling for the talented young playmaker. After he went down with what appeared to be a knee injury last week against the Toronto Raptors, Oladipo had to be carried off on a stretcher. The following morning, the team revealed the news that he would miss the remainder of the year with a ruptured quad tendon.
Oladipo has been a key part of the Pacers’ recent success, as they currently sit with a 32-16 record and hold the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference. Following the 26-year-old’s injury, there have been rumblings about whether the team could opt to make a deal at the NBA trade deadline to fill the void.
There are certainly options out there if the Pacers opt to go that route, so we broke down three potential packages the team could consider.
*Note: Trades created with the ESPN Trade Machine.
Pacers Strike Deal With Knicks, Add Scorer
While Tim Hardaway Jr.’s contract comes with a decent-sized cap hit over multiple years, the Pacers could benefit even beyond this season by adding him to the mix. He’s struggled with his shot this year, but the New York Knicks would be sending two plug-and-play options in this deal, as Noah Vonleh is having a solid season.
Most importantly, if the Pacers chose to, they could start Domantas Sabonis at power forward alongside Myles Turner and have Vonleh play off the bench. This deal would also allow the Pacers to utilize Tyreke Evans as the primary scorer off the bench again, in turn bolstering their depth.
Pacers Add Young Point Guard in Dennis Smith Jr. Trade
I like the idea of the Pacers addressing two potential needs in one move. While Darren Collison’s play has been hit-or-miss at points, he’d remain on the roster and the team would have the option of deploying either of their two point guards. If Indiana opted just to move on from Collison, they could put him in place of Joseph as well.
The Dallas Mavericks could move both Smith and the contract of Wesley Matthews, so adding the two guards again helps Indiana’s depth and fills the void following Oladipo’s injury. Matthews is a solid shooter, good defender and would be a fine option to take over the minutes available.
Blockbuster Mike Conley Trade
*Note: Pacers send a protected first-round pick to Grizzlies
The Pacers addressing the point guard position at this level is interesting, and the future pairing of Mike Conley and Oladipo in the backcourt would make for an exciting duo. Along with that, Indiana picks up a player capable of scoring in Dillon Brooks while moving a few expiring deals in the process.
This trade makes sense if the Memphis Grizzlies are looking to take on expiring deals and possibly a draft pick for the 31-year-old guard. They would obviously only do so if it meant preparing for a big push in free agency this summer.
While it’s known they are open to dealing Conley, there hasn’t been much revealed in terms of an asking price. There’s a chance it may take more than this to get a deal done, as the Grizzlies could demand a younger player who’ll make an impact in the coming years.