Central Notes: Oladipo, LaVine, Bulls, Pistons

Prior to the 2019/20 season, the Pacers and Victor Oladipo “very briefly” discussed the possibility of a contract extension, but decided it was best to revisit the subject later, sources tell ESPN’s Zach Lowe.

Oladipo will be extension-eligible again during the 2020/21 league year, so he and the Pacers could circle back to those discussions this summer. Still, it’d be a surprise if he agrees to a new deal before the 2021 offseason, when he could optimize his earnings as a free agent.

In a contract extension, Oladipo would be limited to a starting salary of $25.2MM. Based on the league’s latest salary cap projections for 2021/22, the Pacers guard could earn a starting salary of up to $37.2MM if he waits until free agency to sign his next contract.

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • Although the Bulls have acquired a handful of promising young players in recent years, it remains to be seen whether any players on the roster will develop into true stars. Eric Woodyard of ESPN takes a closer look at whether Zach LaVine is capable of becoming that sort of player.
  • Here’s what executive VP of basketball operations John Paxson had to say about the Bulls developing and evaluating their roster and seeking star-caliber players, via Woodyard: “We know what we have to get … in this business, you win with stars. Every team does. We went into a rebuild. You draft and you hope that those guys develop. We’re still trying to get to that phase of being a relevant, legitimate team. … The time after the All-Star break will be us evaluating who fits going forward, but we’ve not given up on our young guys. A lot of people make mistakes in this league. I know the balance is not hanging on too long, but it’s not giving up on guys too early.”
  • Bulls forward Thaddeus Young and swingman Denzel Valentine heard that there were teams interested in them leading up to the trade deadline, as Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago details. Both players suggested they’re happy to have the deadline behind them so they can move forward and focus on pushing for a playoff spot down the stretch.
  • After several years spent in the middle of the NBA pack, the Pistons‘ rebuild was a long time coming, writes Rod Beard of The Detroit News.
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9 thoughts on “Central Notes: Oladipo, LaVine, Bulls, Pistons

  1. tomjoadsghost

    Jerry and Michael need to fire GarPax. Bulls have become irrelevant in the NBA. Firing Gar or Boylen would be half measure at best. Sad state of affairs for what should be a marquee franchise.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      The Bulls have been irrelevant since Jordan left them in 1998.

    • bryzzo_2016

      Yeah, it’s almost criminal. If not for Jordan, the Bulls would be the Knicks of the Midwest. Reinsdorf’s loyalty to inept, clueless front office clowns has rendered both the Bulls and White Sox irrelevant jokes.

  2. x%sure

    Apparently the Bulls got no offers for Young & Valentine. Ouch. DV is 3rd yr, PER 13 last two years, $3.4MM expiring, reduced minutes. He played overconfidently & unsettled when I saw him last year and got criticized a lot, but still has potential.

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