New York Knicks: Is Victor Oladipo the Final Piece to the Puzzle?

The New York Knicks already made one big trade, acquiring Derrick Rose from the Detroit Pistons this past Sunday. They are looking to make more moves before the trade deadline on March 20.

The Knicks have looked into a few big names too and one of them is Victor Oladipo from the Houston Rockets.

Oladipo is one of the best shooting guards in the game. He is currently averaging 19.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game. Acquiring him would fill the void at shooting guard that the Knicks have not been able to fill in since Allan Houston played that position in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Plus, Oladipo will add another scoring punch to the Knicks offense, to go along with Julius Randle and RJ Barrett.

But would acquiring Oladipo be the final piece to the Knicks puzzle in perhaps competing for an NBA championship? Not quite!

First of all, we have to find out who the Knicks will have to give up in order to trade for Oladipo. New York did not have to give up much in the D-Rose trade. They shipped out only Dennis Smith Jr. and a 2021 second-round pick. In order to acquire Oladipo, the Knicks will have to give up more of their assets. Oladipo is an All-Star and still in his prime at 28 years old. So the Rockets will ask a lot for him.

Championship Chase?

Second, while Oladipo will definitely make the Knicks a playoff team in the Eastern Conference, they still might not have enough to compete for a championship. Especially if they have to trade Randle. They would still fall short in the talent department behind the likes of the Brooklyn Nets, Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers, and the Boston Celtics in the East.

If Randle stays, then it will make for an interesting squad with him, Victor Oladipo, and Barrett in the lineup, creating three main offensive options. It will take some pressure off Randle and he won’t have to hold the ball so long because he will have another option to pass it to. The question is, how will they all fit together and how much depth they have, considering they would have to give up many pieces for Oladipo. For a team with not much depth to start with, it would be affected even more in a blockbuster trade.

Risky Business

Getting Oldipo would help the Knicks now, but it could be risky in the long run. Victor will be a free agent after this season. If the Knicks acquire him and don’t re-sign him, they will then have given up a lot for nothing. And he would be considered a one-year rental. Oladipo when healthy, is a consistent scoring option. He’s been healthy for most of this year but has not been much the previous two seasons.

Victor Oladipo only played in 19 games last season in 2019-2020. He also played in 36 games in the previous season in 2018-2019 for the Indiana Pacers. So his injury history is a concern as well. With Oladipo, the Knicks will be a lock for the playoffs but not a championship contender yet. He is an All-Star but he is not an elite franchise player, like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Joel Embiid in the East. The Knicks have improved this year and are a playoff-caliber team. But, they are still young and thus they need to keep developing these young players.

So even if they acquire Oladipo, the Knicks still need a few more pieces to take the next step towards being a contender.

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