The Indiana Pacers stayed competitive after trading Paul George large in part due to the emergence of Victor Oladipo. Despite earning two All-Star appearances, his contract status with the team remains in question.
The original report came from ESPN’s Zach Lowe in February stating the Pacers and Oladipo ‘very briefly’ discussed a contract extension before the season, but both sides concluded ‘it was best to revisit later.’
More details have come out about the original contract extension talks Oladipo had with the Pacers from SNY’s Ian Begley. He stated that a four-year, $80 million deal was discussed at one point but there wasn’t much progress in those talks.
Per SNY sources, at one point in the extension talk between the club and Oladipo, the idea of a four-year extension for around $80 million was broached. Discussions about an extension didn’t progress much from there, sources said.
The Pacers possess the option of exceeding the salary cap to sign Victor Oladipo to a contract extension. They will need to determine if Oladipo will be able to recover to his previous form and be worthy of commanding a hefty payday.
After some terrible performances after initially returning from injury, Oladipo was making strides. His last performance before the season was suspended featured a season-high 27 points (56.3% FG, 71.4% 3P, 100% FT), 7 rebounds, and 4 assists against the Boston Celtics.
It simply didn’t make sense for Oladipo to agree to any contract offer with the Pacers until he showed he is back to his regular self to maximize his value. Meanwhile, it was a logical business move for Indiana to attempt to land Oladipo to a long-term deal while still shouldering some risk.
The situation is certainly worth monitoring given the 2020-21 season will be the final year of Oladipo’s current contract. If there remains a disconnect between both sides in extension talks before next season, there is a real risk the Pacers get left empty-handed the following offseason. Evaluating potential returns on the trade market would make sense.
There also needs to be a determination made from the Pacers about keeping their core together as the building blocks of their team. Their salary cap spending will be tied up for the near future in a team that doesn’t have an outlook capable of contending for a title.
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