Despite the fact that the Los Angeles Lakers don’t have a lot of strong tradeable assets, they’ve found themselves in the middle of a number of trade rumors. One name they’ve been linked to in the past is Indiana Pacers star Victor Oladipo. He’s coming off an injury-plagued year which has hurt his trade value but there should still be plenty of takers for the former All-Star.
If the Lakers hope to acquire Olapdio, they’re going to have to put together a strong package. Zack Buckley of Bleacher Report believes that Los Angeles can get rid of its worst contract, which he believes belongs to Danny Green, along with sending Kyle Kuzma and Talen Horton-Tucker to Indiana and get Olapdio in return:
[Green’s] trade value shouldn’t be tanked, though, as he’s a career 40.0% 3-point shooter who can handle most defensive assignments. Plus, he’s a three-time champion with 145 playoff contests under his belt, so a team in need of a postseason guide—say, a squad that hasn’t seen the second round since 2014—might see him as a viable trade target.
That’s doubly true if the Pacers don’t feel good about a future with Oladipo, due either to the buzz about his wanting out or perhaps a reluctance to cover the cost of his next contract. Indiana wouldn’t necessarily decline next season—Oladipo rarely looked right last season, and the team fared better without him—and its future would undeniably brighten with the arrivals of Kuzma and Horton-Tucker.
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Lakers Reportedly Do Have Interest in Oladipo
This is far from the first time that Oladipo has been linked to the Lakers. He’s been talked about as a potential target for a while and Brandon Robinson of Heavy recently reported that they are still interested.
Lakers, Mavs also have interest in Pacers PG Victor Oladipo.
List also includes: Knicks, Suns, Raptors, Nets, Timberwolves. https://t.co/5sKfmHl2Ln
— 👑📍Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson, M.A. (@ScoopB) September 29, 2020
Oladipo has missed 100 games over the last two seasons due to injury. He emerged as a star in 2017-18 when he averaged 23.1 points per game. However, that was the only season in his seven-year career that saw him average over 20 points a game. While he’s a very good player, he’s not in the superstar category yet. That could work in the Lakers’ favor.
Should the Lakers Try to Make This Trade?
Landing Green, Kyle Kuzma and Talen Horton-Tucker might actually be a good haul for the Pacers. The injury concerns with Oladipo are a big red flag and will likely scare off teams from breaking the bank for him on the trade market. He’s set to be an unrestricted free agent after this upcoming season which also hurts Indiana’s leverage.
Recently, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst stated that giving up Kuzma and Green for Oladipo would be too much. If that’s the case, perhaps the guard doesn’t have nearly as much value on the trade market as the Pacers would hope. If the Lakers can get him relatively cheaply, it could end up being a great move. There is a level of risk involved but this could be the Lakers’ best chance at forming a big three this year.