The Indiana Pacers are one of the 22 teams invited to participate in the restart of the NBA season. There is a possibility they could be doing so without All-Star guard Victor Oladipo in the lineup.
During a recent interview with ESPN, Oladipo made it clear he’s ‘got to be smart’ about ‘trying to ramp it up that fast’ in order to prepare for the resumption of the NBA season.
“I feel a whole lot better,” Oladipo said, via Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. “I know there’s risk going into it with the unique situation that I’m in — being off so long and trying to ramp it up that fast. I’ve just got to be smart, that’s all.”
The early portion of Oladipo’s return to the lineup was quite underwhelming as he struggled to execute on jump shots and noticably lacked an ability to get to the rim and finish consistently.
There was significant reason for optimism regarding Oladipo’s status just before the NBA suspended the season. His most recent performance was his best since returning from injury, featuring 27 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists in 28 minutes against the Boston Celtics.
A potential decision from Oladipo about participating in the resumption of the season could take longer to come than just the July 1 decision deadline. The Pacers would need to keep a roster spot open for him and that could push the decision ‘through the month of July.’
Players must inform teams by Wednesday if they plan to participate in the season’s 22-team restart in Orlando — and teams must provide the league a roster of eligible players by July 1. However, Oladipo and the Pacers can push a decision on his return through the month of July as he ramps up in Indianapolis and Orlando for training camps.
There will need to be significant adjustment from the Pacers if Oladipo elects to not play. Especially when considering there is a possibility Justin Holiday may not play either. Indiana would need to turn to T.J. McConnell and Edmond Sumner more.
The most likely outcome for the Indiana Pacers is a first-round exit in the playoffs, but that will only be exacerbated without Victor Oladipo.
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