The Toronto Raptors will have a bit of money to spend this offseason, as some big names coming off of the books combined with a non-taxpayer mid-level exception slightly north of $10 million could help them add some big names. Could Miami Heat stud Victor Oladipo be a prime target for that MLE?
Oladipo was once regarded as one of the best shooting guards in the game, as his combination of scoring and All-Defensive team work on the other side of the ball helped the Pacers make the playoffs with ease for three straight seasons. Since 2019-20, however, Oladipo has been beset by numerous injuries.
Oladipo has played in just 60 regular season games in that span, with only eight regular-season contests and a handful of postseason matchups to his name with Miami. Still, he’s been effective enough in those limited games to spark renewed interest in him as a free agent this offseason.
Oladipo is smart enough to know that he is not in a position to demand a multi-year contract. He’ll need to join a team that will give him a healthy diet of shots while keeping in mind his contending ambitions. Toronto could sate those desires, making him their ideal Sixth Man.
Could the Toronto Raptors sign Victor Oladipo?
Oladipo has averaged 12.4 points and 3.5 assists per game on 47/41/73 shooting splits. He’s had some big playoff performances that reaffirmed his quality, including 23 points in a Game 5 clincher against the Hawks and 19 in a Game 2 victory against the 76ers. His 94th percentile points per shot attempt show that he’s still as efficient as possible.
The Raptors know that they need to improve their lackluster bench by getting a backup point guard better than Malachi Flynn and adding more shooters. Why not kill two birds with one stone and use cap space on Oladipo?
With 43% of his minutes last year coming at point guard, it’s hard to imagine a better point guard for a Nick Nurse scheme than a physical 6-4 shooter that can defend both guard spots on defense.
The risks with signing Oladipo are evident, given all of his health issues. While he took a one-year prove-it deal with Miami this season, his recent run of form in the playoffs as an ace Sixth Man might be enough to drive up his value into the eight-figure range. That’s not an insignificant chunk of change for a team that needs to prepare for some big extensions.
If Oladipo is still in the seven-figure range, bringing him in on a one or two-year deal would be one way to give this offense a severe shot in the arm. A deep playoff run with Miami could make him even more of an appealing target for Toronto.