Teams around the NBA are keeping an eye on the situation in Indiana, according to Ian Begley of SNY.tv, who notes that Victor Oladipo will be entering a contract year in 2020/21 if he and the Pacers don’t agree to an extension before then.
ESPN’s Zach Lowe reported in February that the Pacers and Oladipo “very briefly” discussed the possibility of a contract extension prior to the start of the 2019/20 campaign. Sources tell Begley that the idea of a four-year, $80MM extension was brought up during those talks, which didn’t progress much beyond that point.
Technically, since Oladipo had two years left on his current deal prior to this season, an extension couldn’t have exceeded three years, totaling five overall. As such, Begley’s four-year figure may have included the guard’s $21MM salary for 2020/21.
Once the ’20/21 league year begins, Oladipo will once again become extension-eligible and could then tack on up to four new years to his expiring deal. Because the starting salary on a veteran extension is limited to 120% of a player’s previous salary, Oladipo could receive up to $25.2MM in year one, maxing out at about $113MM over four years.
There’s no reason to believe at this point that the Pacers won’t make a strong push to retain Oladipo. It’s worth noting that Indiana has already made long-term commitments of at least $18MM per year to three other players – Malcolm Brogdon, Domantas Sabonis, and Myles Turner – and that the club had a better record without Oladipo this season (32-20) than with him (7-6). But that sample size was small and the two-time All-Star was coming off a major quad injury that has sidelined him for a full year.
Additionally, while the Pacers don’t have a ton of cap flexibility in future years, they hold Oladipo’s Bird rights and – depending on where the cap lands going forward – could likely stay out of the tax while re-signing him, either to an extension or as an unrestricted free agent in 2021.
Still, as Begley writes, if the 2019/20 season can be resumed, teams around the league figure to be monitoring Oladipo and the Pacers to see how his chemistry with Brogdon and the rest of the team develops.