- Pacers listed as -1000 favorites to keep Victor Oladipo
- Oladipo had reportedly told the team that he wants a trade
- Two-time All-Star entering the final season of his contract
The abbreviated version of the 2020 NBA offseason has seen no shortage of player movement, but one of the few teams that has abstained from making any major moves is the Indiana Pacers. While Indy surprisingly fired head coach Nate McMillan after last season, the team’s roster has remained intact.
Indiana has decided to run it back on the heels of a fourth-place finish in the Eastern Conference last season. The Pacers wound up with a solid 45-28 record despite missing former All-Star Victor Oladipo for much of the campaign. Oladipo didn’t return to the lineup until January after missing the first chunk of the season recovering from a serious quad injury.
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Just last week, however, reports surfaced that indicated that Oladipo was displeased with his situation in Indiana. The former lottery pick is entering the final year of a four-year, $84 million contract he signed in 2016, but the Pacers have reportedly decided that they plan to enter the season with the star swingman on the roster.
Pacers Running It Back
Pacers president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard has repeatedly told the media that Oladipo wants to stick around with the franchise in the long run. During the team’s media session before training camp opened this week, Oladipo said,
“Growing up, I was always taught not to engage in nonsense. I never have. I never came out and said that I didn’t want to play for the Pacers or be in this organization but, yeah, I’m focused on now. Here and now.”
Oladipo averaged 14.5 points per game last season in 19 regular-season appearances for Indiana. That was his lowest scoring average since his rookie campaign with Orlando back in 2014-15. The Pacers decided against making major changes to the roster despite a disappointing sweep at the hands of the Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs earlier this summer.
Pritchard said that the team’s players have insisted that they want to begin the season with the core intact. Oladipo clearly wasn’t at full strength following the NBA’s Disney World restart, while the Pacers were also playing without All-Star big man Domantas Sabonis. Sabonis missed bubble play after injuring his foot during practice.
Oladipo, Sabonis Back to Full Strength
Both players are reportedly back to 100 percent health ahead of the new season. It will be interesting to see how the Pacers fare under a new coaching staff despite having kept the roster in place. BetOnline has Indiana listed as a +1000 long shot to catch the Bucks to win the Central Division title, while the Pacers are tied with the Hawks for the seventh-best odds to win the Eastern Conference at +4000.
Some NBA betting sites are also taking bets on whether Oladipo will begin the new season in a Pacer uniform. The Pacers are listed as heavy -1000 favorites to keep him in the fold to begin the campaign, though he would surely have no shortage of suitors if the Pacers decide to put Oladipo on the trading block.
The New York Knicks (+600), Boston Celtics (+1600), and Brooklyn Nets (+2000) are among the teams listed with decent odds at landing the two-time All-Star.
The Pacers were reportedly in the mix to sign free agent swingman Gordon Hayward, but Hayward ultimately decided to sign a $120 million deal to join the Charlotte Hornets instead.
Taylor Smith has been a staff writer with GamblingSites.org since early 2017. Taylor is primarily a sports writer, though he will occasionally dabble in other things like politics and entertainment betting. His primary specialties are writing about the NBA, Major League Baseball, NFL and domestic and international soccer. Fringe sports like golf and horse racing aren’t exactly his cup of tea, bu …