Teams are reportedly engaging in Victor Oladipo trade talks. The New York Knicks are a possible suitor with spare draft assets and cap space.
A possible Oladipo trade, per Adrian Wojnarowski, could cost a mid-first round pick. The Knicks, of course, have spare first round selections after the Kristaps Porzingis deal. Oladipo is a free agent at season’s end. The Knicks have the cap space to sign him even if a trade doesn’t materialize.
Victor Oladipo Knicks trade rumors
It’s easy for the Knicks to get giddy. They are on the cusp of a playoff appearance for the first time in what feels like decades. Tom Thibodeau has given Madison Square Garden a team to be proud of. Julius Randle is playing like a legitimate star, and their defense has been elite.
The Derrick Rose trade showed this front office is willing to add veterans to supplement this young group. Oladipo, though, will cost far more than Rose. Giving up a first-round pick when you’re in the Knicks’ position is a risky business.
As good as the Knicks have been, Oladipo doesn’t make them a contender. His level of play since his injury makes him a question mark going forward. With RJ Barrett developing and a pair of fun rookies in Immanuel Quickley and Obi Toppin, New York isn’t in a rush. They don’t need to be.
This is a loaded draft and they’re in line for two first-round picks. Is it really worth giving one of those up for Oladipo?
Oladipo’s funky fit
While a clear talent, there are also questions about Oladipo’s role on this Knicks team. He doesn’t bring great shooting, which is what New York needs most of all. Line-ups with Oladipo, Barrett and Randle alongside a traditional center risk an alarming lack of space.
If the Knicks were to make this trade so they could keep Oladipo long-term, one wonders how it all fits together. Quickley, Barrett, Oladipo, Randle and Robinson probably doesn’t have enough shooting as a five. Do the Knicks pick up a stretch big to help? Are they relying on Oladipo and/or Barrett becoming reliable, above-average guys from downtown?
The uncertainty over his production cannot be overstated either. No one can be sure if Oladipo will play like a max player again. Perhaps he’s destined to be overpaid this summer, and given the young talent they have, it would be a nightmare scenario for the Knicks to be lumbered with another bloated contract.
An Oladipo Knicks trade could be justified at a lower price. A bidding war of sorts seems to be developing, though, and that should turn the Knicks off any possible deal. If they’re desperate to sign the former Pacer, they can prioritize him in free agency, and things might be clearer about the state of this team for 2022 and beyond.
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