Victor Oladipo is Gone


On Wednesday afternoon, January 13th, 2021 breaking news came out through the NBA world. Former MVP James Harden was traded to the Brooklyn Nets for many first rounds picks and players. How does this include Pacers fan favorite Victor Oladipo you might ask? The Indiana Pacers traded Oladipo to the Houston Rockets in return for Caris Levert and a second-round pick from the Brooklyn Nets. This deal included four teams and I will break down the Pacers’ side of the trade and my thoughts on the subject. 


Losing Oladipo took me a while to comprehend and think about his time with the Pacers. Oladipo, a former Indiana Hoosier, was traded for former Pacers Superstar Paul George in the summer of 2017. I remember that night being very depressing for the young Pacer fan I was. Paul George was my favorite player in the whole league and a person I grew up watching. Oladipo soon turned into an NBA All-Star and the Pacers’ new number 1 guy. Victor soon the season after had a season-ending knee injury and is still trying to regain that All-Star form. Last season he tried to return by the end of the season and he wasn’t the same. During this summer he was asking for a new contract extension with the Pacers if not he would request a trade. 


Going into the 2020-2021 NBA season expectations were as follows for the Pacers. Make the playoffs and try to get out of the first round. The Pacers started the season with a nice 7-4 record and sitting pretty with the fourth-best record in the East. Then boom Oladipo is traded to Houston. I was very surprised and shocked by the whole situation. I knew he wanted out but I thought the Pacers wouldn’t trade him. But after a while, I agree with this move a lot. Caris Levert is a 26-year-old shooting guard out of Michigan University and is a STUD in the sport of basketball. Levert averages 18 points, 4 rebounds, and 6 assists as the third option for the Nets team with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. He will fill the role as the second option for the Pacers and can average around 22-24 points per game in my personal opinion. Levert is a natural scorer with a silky smooth jumper from outside the three-point line. He can score at all three levels of the court and is a skilled playmaker. I also loved this trade due to his contract. Levert will be in Indiana for the next 3 years for 52 Million dollars. On the other hand, Oladipo only had 1 year left on his deal and is a free agent after this season.


The Blockbuster trade that happened last Wednesday shocked the league and will change how the season will go on. I believe that the Pacers won the trade and are setting themselves up for a nice future ahead. I know we will take some hits early with chemistry issues but once we get that team chemistry up we will be a weapon and an opponent you wouldn’t want to see in the first round. I will miss Victor and I’m also glad that we got Caris, so like that classic quote is out with the old and in with the new is perfect for this trade.