The Los Angeles Lakers recieve: SG Victor Oladipo
The Indiana Pacers receive: SG/SF Danny Green, PF/SF Kyle Kuzma, PG Quinn Cook, and the Lakers’ 2020 1st Round pick.
The Lakers seem fully focused on having the cap space available to sign Giannis Antetokounmpo in 2021. Everything they have done in regards to contracts with each member of the roster, other than LeBron James, is all on 2-year contracts. Which all expire in the summer of 2021.
They signed Giannis’ brother, Kostas Antetokounmpo, to a two-way deal that allows for an open line of dialogue with someone close to Giannis. They signed Giannis’ former mentor and coach Jason Kidd to the largest Assistant Coach contract in NBA history.
It seems like they are doing pretty much everything they can to be in the Giannis Antetokounmpo business. This trade for Victor Oladipo does not change that.
Oladipo is coming off one of the worst injuries of his career that limited him to only a dozen or more games this season. Now that Oladipo is healthy, he is going to be the Pacers star going forward right? Wrong. During his injuries, different members of the Indiana Pacers have stepped up in his place. Myles Turner, T.J. Warren, Jeremy Lamb, Malcolm Brogdon. But most importantly, Domantas Sabonis has stepped up to be the team leader.
While Oladipo can get back to the All-Star level and reclaim his spot as the star of the team, it has probably come to a point for the Pacers where they are fine with letting him go and claiming some assets for him.
While the Lakers and Pacers do not have the warmest relationship, the purple and gold will be offering them every major asset they have. Well, those not named LeBron James and Anthony Davis. For a player, they potentially might not even want anymore.
They also get a pick in this year’s draft which they do not currently possess. Danny Green allows for Brogdon to slip down to the point guard position and be the facilitator. Kyle Kuzma makes Myles Turner dispensable to the Pacers, allowing for the Pacers to move Sabonis to center and for the Pacers to go for the best player, or asset, available for Turner.
The Pacers are currently paying each Oladipo, Turner, Sabonis, Lamb, Warren, and Brogdon, more than $10 million per year. They need to cut costs and move on from Oladipo. Also moving Turner frees up some cap space for them to add depth to the roster.
Oladipo, if he can regain pre-injury form, is going to be a dangerous player for the purple and gold. Capable of playing both guard positions, he will provide the Lakers with elite guard scoring and be an ideal secondary play-maker.
The Lakers will be taking a large risk by trading for Victor Oladipo but they do so knowing that if things go wrong, they have an out in 2021 that allows for them to chase Giannis Antetokounmpo.
The Lakers are, and always will be, a star-centric team. If they can land a 3rd star to the already bright lights in Staples Center, then the potential for another banner to be raised to the rafters goes up significantly.
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