Victor Oladipo has denied a recent report and publicly committed to the Indiana Pacers.
Victor Oladipo and the Indiana Pacers are clearly heading for a split, but for the time being, at least they’re trying to stay together for the kids.
On Thursday, reports surfaced that Oladipo repeatedly asked other teams, “Can I come play with y’all?” in front of his own teammates. The other teams included the New York Knicks, Miami Heat and Toronto Raptors.
This was obviously a terrible look for the two-time All-Star, and on Friday, he issued his response to these reports via Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Victor Oladipo denied the reports and publicly recommitted to the Pacers
According to Charania, Oladipo is fully committed to the franchise and direction of the team heading into the 2020-21 season:
“I know there have been people saying that I have asked players to trade for me,” he told The Athletic. “That’s just not true, period. I love my teammates, I cherish the state of Indiana and I’m focused on leading this franchise to a title.”
At the root of this tension has been failed negotiations between Oladipo and the Pacers to work out a new contract extension for the 28-year-old guard. He is eligible for a four-year, $112.9 million max extension this offseason. Entering the final year of his contract worth $21 million, Oladipo will be a free agent in 2021, where he could re-sign for up to five years and $195.6 million or join a new team for up to four years and $145 million.
Once viewed as the franchise cornerstone in Indiana, Oladipo’s stock has taken a hit over the last season or so due to the ruptured quad tendon he sustained in his right knee in January of 2019. That season-ending injury kept him off the court for a full year, and when he came back for the second half of the 2019-20 campaign, he struggled to shake off the rust.
Oladipo’s numbers nosedived to 14.5 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game over his 19 appearances, including 39.4 percent shooting from the field and 31.7 percent shooting from 3. The disjointed season that went on hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic didn’t help matters, but it’s hard to gauge what Oladipo’s value is until he’s back on the court and proving he’s still a two-way star in this league.
Because of this uncertainty, and because the Pacers may not want to commit a ton of money to him when the team was still very competitive with Domantas Sabonis, T.J. Warren and Malcolm Brogdon leading the charge, Oladipo is an obvious trade candidate. As a guy on an expiring contract coming off a significant injury, his time in Indiana may already be winding down no matter what he says publicly.