Also included in the deal was a second-round pick, which the Pacers will receive. LeVert has two seasons left on his contract, earning just over $36 million.
Initial reports claimed LeVert was heading to the Rockets. Shams Charania then broke the news that Indiana was joining the party. Oladipo had been rumored to be on the trade market for months – he finally got dealt in the same deal which saw the Brooklyn Nets acquire James Harden.
The Pacers started the season strongly. Malcolm Brogdon and Domantas Sabonis‘ two-man game has become one of the most unguardable things in the NBA. Myles Turner is a Defensive Player of the Year candidate, leading the league in blocks.
Indiana losing Oladipo for nothing would have been a mistake on their part. Getting LeVert in to share the backcourt with Brogdon brings scoring punch and a player who can stay with this team for at least a couple more years. The Turner, Sabonis, Brogdon, LeVert core is a legitimately competitive in the team in the East even without bubble superstar T.J. Warren.
LeVert vs Oladipo
Losing Oladipo is a blow, but the franchise’s relationship with their once star man has been strained over recent months. LeVert may never be as good as peak Oladipo, yet there’s more certainty in his ability and productive in seasons to come. LeVert has his own injury history, of course, which is a concern, but he recovered far quicker, and far more convincingly than Oladipo has thus far.
Picking up a player of LeVert’s caliber for just an expiring contract is a masterstroke for Indiana. They have solved the greatest question about their roster without giving up any long-term assets – that’s as good as it gets by NBA front office standards.