Victor Oladipo could leave Pacers, sign elsewhere in free agency 2021
A new report suggests Indiana Pacers star guard Victor Oladipo may not be in town for very long.
According to Sam Amick in The Athletic, there are “rumblings” that Oladipo, 28, doesn’t plan on re-signing with the franchise when he becomes a free agent next year.
Further, from Dan Feldman in NBC Sports’ Pro Basketball Talk, the recent firing of head coach Nate McMillan after another first-round playoff exit may be a way to keep Oladipo with the Pacers; hiring a new coach to the former Indiana University star’s liking could keep the two-time All-Star shooting guard with the Pacers.
After several teams were eliminated in the first round of the NBA playoffs in the Orlando bubble, numerous head-coaching vacancies began popping up—namely the Pacers’ gig and Brett Brown being dismissed from his post with the Philadelphia 76ers. Additionally, despite being locked in a first-round battle with the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Houston Rockets seem to be pushing two-time Coach of the Year Mike D’Antoni out of his job, too.
D’Antoni, who didn’t have his contract extended earlier this season to much public discussion and pontification, is suggested as one option to succeed McMillan and coach Oladipo into further stardom, perhaps keeping the former second-overall draft pick in Indiana.
There is also the question of whether it is even worth signing Oladipo to a max contract or not for the Pacers, who just saw Dipo lose nearly a year after 2019’s quad injury and a sluggish performance against the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference quarter-finals.
Oladipo averaged 17.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game in four appearances in the first round of the playoffs, shooting less than 40 percent from the floor.