Pacers guard Victor Oladipo reportedly asked opponents during games whether he could play with them. Oladipo is reportedly looking to leave Indiana this offseason. Asked about that rumor, he didn’t deny it.
Now, entering the final year of his contract, Oladipo is trying to set the record straight.
Shams Charania of The Athletic:
Two-time All-Star Victor Oladipo has informed the Pacers that he is fully committed to the franchise and the direction of the team entering this upcoming season, Oladipo told The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
“I know there have been people saying that I have asked players to trade for me. That’s just not true, period. I love my teammates, I cherish the state of Indiana and I’m focused on leading this franchise to a title,” Oladipo told The Athletic.
Oladipo is a worker with a strong background. People don’t expect him to do undermine his own team.
But the Pacers face issues, regardless.
J. Michael of the Indianapolis Star reported Oladipo’s request to join opponents came in front of Indiana teammates and caused tension in the locker room. If Oladipo’s teammates heard him talking that way, they know not to trust this denial. If someone made up this allegation, that’s it’s own large concern. Who would want to paint Oladipo in such a negative light and why?
Either way, there are major chemistry concerns.
And that’s just the start of Indiana’s conundrum with Oladipo.
He’ seeking a big new contract. But with the guard coming off major injury and struggling in his limited return last season, it’s difficult to justify an extension before seeing him play. The same dynamic complicates trades. Of course, if not dealing him before the trade deadline, Oladipo could walk for no return in free agency.
The Pacers have Oladipo expressing commitment to the franchise. That’s a good step. But there’s still plenty to figure out.