NBA Rumors: Victor Oladipo Reportedly Expresses Commitment To Pacers Organization

Although he has been mentioned often in trade rumors by basketball pundits and fans alike, Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo may not be looking to part ways with the organization. According to a report from The Athletic‘s Shams Charania, the two-time All-Star selection has informed the club that he is fully committed to the franchise and the direction it is currently heading in as the start of the 2020-21 NBA campaign draws ever nearer.

“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, as relayed by NBC Sports.

The 28-year-old’s denial that he has been actively campaigning to join opposing teams comes after an Indianapolis Star report indicated that he had done so in front of his Pacers teammates. His purported angling for a trade out of Indiana was said to have caused friction within the club’s locker room.

Regardless of whether or not Oladipo was actually witnessed approaching opponents about potentially joining forces, multiple potential issues have seeded doubt regarding his long-term future with the franchise.

Firstly, his contract, which is set to pay him $21 million next season, per salary data from Spotrac, is set to expire following the ’20-21 campaign. Given that the Pacers have been unceremoniously ousted in the first round of the NBA playoffs every year since Oladipo joined the team, he could look to join a title-contending squad when he becomes an unrestricted free agent next summer.

Secondly, it’s not known whether the former No. 2 overall pick can rediscover the form that originally made him the top star in Indy.

During a January 2019 game against the Toronto Raptors, Oladipo suffered a ruptured quad tendon in his right knee that ended his 2018-19 campaign and limited him to just 19 games this past season. And while his efficacy on the court appeared to be trending upward before COVID-19 necessitated a monthslong stoppage of play, he was inconsistent throughout his club’s August stay in the league’s Orlando, Florida, bubble.

Still, a healthy Oladipo would likely keep the Pacers at or near the top of the playoff discussion in the Eastern Conference. As tracked by Basketball-Reference, the 6-foot-4-inch combo guard and two-way player has averaged 21 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals per contest over three seasons with the Pacers.

As shared previously by The Inquisitr, The Ringer‘s Kevin O’Connor has labeled Oladipo as a top target of the Dallas Mavericks, along with Zach LaVine of the Chicago Bulls and the Brooklyn Nets’ Spencer Dinwiddie.

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