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Pacers’ Victor Oladipo reacts to Thaddeus Young leaving for the Bulls

Victor Oladipo, Thaddeus Young

The Indiana Pacers will look much different going forward than they have since Victor Oladipo was traded from the Oklahoma City Thunder two years ago. Still, that hardly means the Pacers’ franchise player isn’t happy for teammates who cashed in with other teams in free agency.

In response to Thaddeus Young thanking Indiana and the team’s fans after agreeing to terms with the Chicago Bulls, Oladipo offered thanks of his own.

Yahoo Sports reported on Sunday that Young will sign a four-year, $41 million in Chicago. He started 81 games for the Pacers last season, averaging 12.6 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. Not a three-point threat, Young proved immensely valuable with Indiana nevertheless given his defensive versatility, penchant for steals and deflections, and bucket-getting ability in the paint.

His departure looms especially large in the context of Bojan Bogdanovic agreeing to sign with the Utah Jazz. As a result, the Pacers will be without both of their starting forwards next season, each of whom proved crucial to the team’s relative success in the wake of Oladipo’s season-ending injury in January. T.J. Warren, acquired in a draft-night trade with the Phoenix Suns, is poised to start at small forward, while Domantas Sabonis, one of the league’s best bench players last season, will step in at power forward next to Myles Turner.

Oladipo, meanwhile, reportedly won’t be ready for tipoff of the 2019-20 season after undergoing surgery to repair an injured right quadriceps. The 2017-18 Most Improved Player, in fact, could be sidelined until December, according to The Athletic.