Why Pacers can’t replace Victor Oladipo with Lance Stephenson
Bad news for Indiana Pacers fans: Star guard Victor Oladipo will not be playing when the NBA bubble games get underway. Still bad news, but slightly less bad than the first news for Pacers fans: They can’t sign Lance Stephenson as an injury replacement for Oladipo even if they wanted to.
Vic shared his sentiments with The Athletic on how he felt about not playing.
“I really want to play, and as a competitor and teammate this is tearing me apart,” Oladipo told The Athletic. “I feel like I’m at a great place in my rehab and getting closer and closer to 100%. With all the variables, from how I have to build my 5-on-5 workload back up, to the increased risk of a soft tissue injury which could delay my rehab, and the unknown exact set up of the bubble, I just can’t get my mind to being fully comfortable in playing.
“I have to be smart and this decision hasn’t been easy, but I truly believe continuing on the course I’m on and getting fully healthy for the 2020-21 season is the right decision for me.”
But while Oladipo will not be playing due to injury, he’s still going to be traveling with the Pacers to Orlando and is receiving his full salary because of it. Odd for someone who played 28 minutes during his last NBA season game before the suspension.
Since Victor Oladipo is traveling to Orlando with the team, the Pacers will not be allowed to replace him. Oladipo will also not forfeit any salary. Certainly a gray area when it comes to a player that finished the season playing 28 minutes in the last game of the season.
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) July 3, 2020
Despite the fact that he won’t be playing, sources also indicate that Indiana officially cannot sign former star Lance Stephenson to a deal. He’s supposedly ineligible to be signed.
No, Lance Stephenson is not an option to replace Oladipo. Source close to the situation confirms that he is ineligible.
On March 11, the morning the season was suspended, I reported how he was nearing a deal to return (after injuries to Brogdon and Lamb).
— Scott Agness (@ScottAgness) July 3, 2020
That’s a trifecta of troubling news for the Indiana Pacers. Let’s hope they get some good karma come Playoff time.