With the 2019-20 NBA season kicking off on October 22, Victor Oladipo continues to recover from a ruptured quad tendon. There has been no official timetable for his return yet, but the Indiana Pacers expect him to be ready prior to the All-Star break. Coming off a solid run, the Pacers look forward to making a big jump this year, especially during the postseason.
With intriguing prospects such as Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner, it could finally come together for the Pacers. But their success will largely depend on Oladipo’s recovery from injury, who revealed his personal assessment of the team’s potential.
“I think we’re the best team in the East,” said Oladipo during his media conference, per ESPN.
“I thought that last year. I thought that the year before. I don’t care who added to who. That’s how I feel. Call me crazy, call me crazy. That’s fine. I really don’t care,” concluded the two-time NBA All-Star.
The Pacers aren’t currently rated as one of the favorites to come out of the East. The Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics, and the Toronto Raptors have the highest odds of conquering the Eastern Conference, as they did last campaign. But Oladipo is confident enough that the Pacers could defeat them in a playoff series.
During the summer, the Pacers reshuffled their roster with the signings of Malcolm Brogdon, T.J. Warren, and Jeremy Lamb. It remains to be seen whether such moves will be enough to challenge the star power of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons in a best-of-seven matchup.
There have been some reports about a potential trade involving the Pacers, as the team wants to challenge for the top seed in the Eastern Conference. One of the rumors suggested that Sabonis could be traded for Jaylen Brown, as previously reported by The Inquisitr. However, it’s possible that the Pacers will stand pat to evaluate the current squad.
They would be wise to follow the Raptors’ model of building a deep roster and then seizing the best available opportunity with a big move. This year, there is not a single team with a clear advantage over the rest of the league. If Oladipo replicates his All-Star form, then the Pacers will surely make some noise. The second overall pick of the 2013 Draft kept the Pacers relevant after Paul George’s exit, and now Oladipo hopes to also bring a title to the city.