Indiana is, arguably, where Victor Oladipo’s career turned around. Prior to that, he’d disappointed during his first few years in Orlando, then followed that up with underwhelming season in OKC before being traded to the Pacers for Paul George. The very next season, he became a first-time All-Star and one of the league’s up-and-coming talents.
Things haven’t gone so smoothly since. He suffered a quad injury in early 2019 that kept him out for a full year and hasn’t been able to fully get back to form since. Now, it looks like Oladipo’s time with the Pacers could be coming to an end, if not this summer, then the next he would become a free agent.
Apparently, Oladipo has made no secret about his preference to get out of Indiana. According to the latest reports, Oladipo asked multiple players from different teams during games last season if he could come and join forces with them, within earshot of his current Pacers teammates.
Via J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star:
It happened vs. the Toronto Raptors. It happened vs. the Miami Heat. It happened vs. the New York Knicks.
“Can I come play with y’all?” Or some iteration of that puzzling statement.
That’s what Victor Oladipo said — in front of Indiana Pacers teammates — increasing the agitation with the star guard in the locker room, three league sources with direct knowledge of the situation told IndyStar. Aaron Turner, Oladipo’s agent, didn’t respond to requests for comment.
It remains unclear, however, whether Oladipo will be with the Pacers next, or for how long. He has one year left on his contract and would become a free agent next summer, after declining his player option for this season. Indiana is reportedly entertaining offers, but could still wait for the trade deadline to make a final decision, which would give Oladipo an opportunity to prove he can get back somewhere near All-Star form and help drive up his trade value.
The fear, of course, is that it might never happen, as Oladipo never resembled his former self this season after he returned. The situation with Oladipo could go on for several months if the team does decide to keep him, and his play will largely determine what the future looks like.
(The Indianapolis Star)