INDIANAPOLIS — Victor Oladipo denied offseason reports he wanted a divorce with the Indiana Pacers.
But whether it was his wish or not, the all-star guard reportedly got a new address Wednesday. Multiple outlets, citing anonymous sources because the deal has yet to be announced by the NBA, reported that Oladipo is headed to the Houston Rockets as part of a massive four-team trade that also will send superstar James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets for a reunion with Kevin Durant.
The Pacers are expected to receive Nets swingman Caris LeVert as well as a 2023 second-round pick. Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince also are going to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the deal.
Unlike Harden, who made his displeasure in Houston known during a Tuesday news conference following a loss to the reigning champion Los Angeles Lakers, Oladipo has made no public ripples this year.
The former Indiana University star seemed to be a good fit in new head coach Nate Bjorkgren’s offense, averaging 20 points and shooting 36.2% from 3-point range. Both numbers are his best since he posted career-high numbers in his first season with the Pacers in 2017-18 (23.1 points, 37.1%).
LeVert also seems like a good fit in Bjorkgren’s up-tempo, share-the-wealth system. At 6-foot-6, he’s two inches taller than Oladipo, and he’s averaging 18.5 points and 6 assists while shooting 34.9% from 3-point range. The former Michigan star actually was drafted in the first round by Indiana in 2016, but his rights were traded to the Nets for forward Thaddeus Young.
In four seasons with Brooklyn, the 26-year-old has averaged 13.1 points, 3.7 assists and 3.7 rebounds while shooting 33.9% from 3-point range. He had a breakout season in 2019-20, making a career-high 31 starts and averaging 18.7 points, 4.4 assists and 4.2 rebounds while shooting 36.4% from beyond the arc.
Oladipo became an instant star for the Pacers after arriving with Domantas Sabonis from the Oklahoma City Thunder after a controversial split with Paul George. He was an all-star in each of his first two seasons before a gruesome knee injury sidelined him for nearly a calendar year.
Oladipo debated whether to return for last season’s playoff run inside the NBA bubble at Walt Disney World in Florida, but ultimately decided to play. With limitations on his minutes and participation in back-to-back games, the 28-year-old averaged 14.5 points, 2.9 assists and 3.9 rebounds while shooting 31.7% on 3-pointers in 19 games last season.
There were reports he’d welcome a trade to the New York Knicks during the offseason, but Oladipo reported to training camp on time and announced himself back to 100%. He got off to a hot start under Bjorkgren but did not play in Tuesday’s 104-95 victory against the Golden State Warriors.
The Pacers (7-4) are scheduled to visit the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday.
Oladipo averaged 20.6 points, 4.3 assists and 4.6 rebounds while shooting 35.6% from 3-point range in 139 games over parts of four seasons with Indiana.