In a recent article, Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report created a list of “5 star NBA trades” that could potentially happen in the 2020 offseason. These include the three-way blockbuster deal that would send Chris Paul to the Indiana Pacers and Victor Oladipo to the Brooklyn Nets. To make the deal happen, the Pacers and the Nets would be needing to ask the Oklahoma City Thunder to helm them facilitate the trade.
In the proposed scenario by Bleacher Report, the Pacers will get Paul and the No. 25 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, the Nets will receive Oladipo and Jeremy Lamb, and the Thunder will acquire Caris LeVert, Jarrett Allen, and Taurean Prince. For Indiana and Brooklyn, the deal is about building a more competitive roster in the 2020-21 NBA season.
As Buckley noted, the Pacers could trade for Paul with the hope that he would be the veteran superstar that would carry the team to the top of the Eastern Conference next year, while the Nets are pushing through with the trade, thinking that Oladipo could regain his All-Star form and become their third star behind Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant.
“Indy banks on Paul’s competitive fire to ignite the franchise the way Jimmy Butler’s did in South Beach. The Pacers also smartly trade back into this draft knowing they’ll need some cheap contributors around Paul, Malcolm Brogdon, Domantas Sabonis, Myles Turner and T.J. Warren. The Nets follow their third-star search to Oladipo knowing they can ease him into the offense since Durant and Irving alone might be enough to field a top-five attack. In return, Oladipo fully commits himself to the defensive end and becomes the club’s designated star stopper.”
The Thunder may be only helping the Pacers and the Nets become more competitive teams next season, but they may end up being the biggest winners in the proposed three-team blockbuster. The suggested trade wouldn’t only allow them to get rid of Paul and his lucrative contract, but it would also enable them to acquire two young and promising talents that could help them speed up the rebuilding process.
This season, LeVert has already blossomed into an All-Star caliber talent, while when he’s given enough playing time, Allen has shown a huge potential to become one of the most dominant big men in the league. LeVert and Allen could join Shai-Gilgeous Alexander in forming the core of the next title-contending team that the Thunder are trying to build in the post-Russell Westbrook era.