Victor Oladipo seems unhappy with the Indiana Pacers, so much so that he openly courted other cities in front of his teammates.
Oladipo asked to join the Toronto Raptors during a game against them last season, three sources told J. Michael of IndyStar. This also happened against the New York Knicks and the Miami Heat.
A split appears likely between Oladipo and the Pacers, as there continues to be reports of discord ever since Oladipo declined a four-year, $80-million extension at the outset of the 2019-20 season. Oladipo is a two-time All-Star who is slated to enter unrestricted free agency at the age of 29 next summer and would command close to a maximum contract if he were to return to his pre-injury form.
However, there is significant uncertainty around Oladipo.
He ruptured his right knee in 2019, and even after returning a year later, Oladipo still contemplated skipping the NBA restart inside the bubble as a precautionary measure. In 19 games last season — three of which were off the bench — Oladipo was a shell of his former self, averaging 14.5 points on 39 percent shooting, and those struggles stretched into the playoffs in a four-game sweep at the hands of the Miami Heat.
Aside from the injuries, there also isn’t a large sample of Oladipo performing at an elite level. He was sensational in 2018, averaging 23 points, five rebounds, four assists and a league-leading 2.4 steals per game while guiding the Pacers to a 48-win season. He also pushed LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers to a bitter seven-game series loss that season while being named Most Improved Player and earning All-Defensive First-Team and All-NBA Third Team honours.
But aside from that one year, Oladipo has been more of a good starter than a bonafide star player, as he failed to impress with the Orlando Magic and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Neither situation set him up to succeed, as the Magic lacked leadership between front office and coaching changes, while Russell Westbrook was too ball-dominant with the Thunder to co-exist with another high usage guard. But the bottom line is that one great year out of seven hardly inspires confidence.
The Pacers have shopped Oladipo along with centre Myles Turner, according to Michael, although Oladipo also isn’t necessarily against re-signing. He is owed $21 million for this coming season.
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