Indiana Basketball: Victor Oladipo moving on from Pacers

Former Indiana Basketball star Victor Oladipo is moving on

I have written a few articles outlining the very real possibility that Victor Oladipo finds a new home in the NBA either this offseason or next offseason. Today, that possibility became reality. The Athletic’s Jason Weiss reported the news on Monday afternoon:

The former second-overall pick in the NBA Draft spent three years in Orlando and one year in Oklahoma City before being dealt with the Pacers for Paul George. Returning to the Hoosier State turned out to be an incredible move-in Oladipo’s career. He went from being a mediocre player his first four seasons to becoming Third Team All-NBA and the Most Improved Player in the league in 2017.

Since that great year, Oladipo has struggled to stay on the court — especially after rupturing his quad at the tail-end of the 2019 season.

The Pacers fired their coach, Nate McMillan, after being swept in the first round of the 2020 playoffs, creating a whirlwind of ambiguity regarding the existing roster and the direction in which management would go. Their roster is decent but destined for mediocrity, as they simply don’t have the talent or the cap room to compete in a vastly inferior Eastern Conference.

Players surely realize that the front office could very easily pull the plug on the roster and begin rebuilding. For a player like Oladipo, who is 28 years old and still in the peak of his athletic prime, the time for winning is now. His contract is up at the end of the 2021 season, but it seems he doesn’t want to wait a year for a change of scenery. There are plenty of championship contenders who would love a player with Oladipo’s skill set. Jason Weiss, who broke the story, speculated the Celtics could be a possible destination.

Wherever Oladipo ends up, it will likely be a step forward in his career. Nothing against the Pacers, but Oladipo is not the best player on a championship team. He would thrive most as the second or third best player on a great team. This will be a situation to monitor moving forward.