Pacers react to Victor Oladipo’s decision to sit out bubble games
In a move that will surely make Oladipo feel more comfortable with his decision, Pacers president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard fully supported his franchise player.
“We totally respect and understand Victor’s decision to not play in the restart of the NBA’s season. The first priority for our players is, and always will be, their health, whether that be physical or mental health,” Pritchard said in a statement on Pacers.com.
“Victor has looked great in workouts, but the timing of the restart and lack of 5-on-5 activity makes it difficult to for him to commit to playing at the high level he expects with regards to further injury. His future health is the No. 1 priority and we look forward to having him back at full strength for the 2020-21 season.
“This is not a unique situation for our team, playing without key players like Victor Oladipo and Jeremy Lamb. This team has shown great resolve in responding to adversity and we fully expect this will be no different. We remain excited about what they can accomplish in Orlando.”
Oladipo has spent the past three months training with his physical therapist, Luke Miller. The Pacers star suffered a serious quad injury in 2018-19 and he would have been prone to injury in Orlando since his body hasn’t been put to the test of NBA basketball since March.
Moreover, Oladipo has one year left on his four-year, $84 million deal with the Pacers. The 2018 Most Improved Player of the Year becomes an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2021, so he has to protect himself so he doesn’t lose out on millions of dollars for his family.
In the 13 games he played for the Pacers in 2019-20, Oladipo averaged 13.8 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.0 assists. He also shot 39.1 percent overall, 30.4 percent from beyond the arc and 78.0 percent from the free-throw line.