Remember a few weeks ago when Pat Riley pretty much admitted that their two main free agent targets are going to be Giannis and Oladipo?
We had heard there was some disagreement surrounding Oladipo's potential extension which is the first sign of concern
but you can sort of understand where IND is coming from. Oladipo is a huge unknown since his injury. It's not like he came back and looked like his All Star self. Well then we learned that Oladipo wouldn't be playing in Orlando and is instead rehabbing. At the time, I wrote about what that meant for the Pacers this summer. Basically, if they don't plan on giving him a better extension, they almost have to trade him this summer. You can't risk him leaving for nothing, and the longer they wait the risk that his value tanks increases. It's sort of like the AD situation. If the Pacers hold onto Oladipo until February and teams know he's dipping that summer no matter what, why give up anything for him?
So why do I bring all this up? Well, there are some tweets floating around from some Pacers writers that I find pretty interesting
For those who don't know, J. Michael is the Pacers reporter for the Indy Star and Caitlin Cooper writes for the Pacers SB Nation blog. Basically, they are way more informed/plugged in/care about the Pacers more than you or I do, so they are absolutely more than credible in my opinion.
Sort of feels like hiding in plain sight. We know when it comes to NBA free agency, pettiness rules. It's a little weird that Oladipo didn't tell his coach before everyone else that he wasn't playing right? I feel like you don't do that if you are cool with everything going on in IND. You do that if you don't give a fuck and plan on dipping anyway. If there are Pacers writers telling me to take this seriously, well that's exactly what I'm going to do.
Would it shock anyone if Pat Riley found a way to trade for Oladipo this summer and then did whatever cap magic he had to do in order to also fit Giannis in 2021? At the very worst he's still getting Oladipo and a healthy Oladipo is an All Star caliber player. Him and Butler in the backcourt would be pretty scary. We know the Heat are going big game hunting and this feels exactly like a Pat Riley special. Hell, he probably convinces Oladipo to take less on an extension so they can make the money work, just like he did with the LeBron Big 3.
Just something to keep an eye on. A lot of the stories will be about tampering in the bubble, and frankly I bet that's exactly how Pat Riley wants it. Everyone is focused on who is going after Giannis while Riley is working back channels on Oladipo as we speak. You can't tell me that's not believable.