The LA Clippers Should Avoid the Oladipo Sweepstakes

Indiana Pacers, Victor Oladipo (Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images)
Indiana Pacers, Victor Oladipo (Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images) /

Despite the recent report that Victor Oladipo wants to get out of Indiana, the LA Clippers probably shouldn’t try to bring him in.

In a recent article for the Athletic (subscription required) about the Celtics, Jared Weiss dropped a the news that sources say Victor Oladipo wants out of Indiana. Clipper Nation has been all abuzz since the postseason loss to the Nuggets, clamoring for a change going into next season. That said, this shouldn’t be the change the LA Clippers fans are looking for.

Vic isn’t the same guy he was a couple of years ago, when he put up 23/5/4 on great shooting numbers. The unfortunate series of injuries he suffered has taken that dynamic scorer away for right now, and left behind a volume scorer who can’t do so efficiently.

Can he bounce back? Sure he can. Maybe not to a fringe All-NBA level, but he could still get back to a being a solid scorer. The question is, would that even fit on the team?

To start, let’s look at what a trade for Oladipo would look like. He’s got one year left on his contract at $21 Million, which basically means Patrick Beverley has to be the starting point.

This makes the money work, but does either team do it? The Clippers lose one of their primary motors and best defenders, and they also lose a volume scorer off the bench, and in return they get a volume scorer. It seems like a lateral move at best for the Clips. And on the other side, the Pacers probably still hope they can get more for Oladipo.

You could also look replace Lou Williams in that deal with Landry Shamet and Rodney McGruder, but you run into the same question – do the Clippers feel like they got better or addressed their needs? And do the Pacers feel like they got the right haul for Oladipo? Hard to say on that second point.

The much-publicized need for the Clippers this offseason is a playmaker – somebody who can keep the ball moving and get everybody involved in the offense. Even at his best, that doesn’t describe Oladipo, who has only broken 5 assists per game in one season – 2018-19, when he had 5.2 assists per game in 36 games.

So the team would have to lean on Kawhi Leonard even more as a playmaker. While that’s a role he can play decently enough, it’s not his strength and it didn’t pan out in the playoffs for the Clippers.

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Another ball-dominant scorer isn’t what this team needs, and they should probably just avoid any Victor Oladipo discussion altogether.