Victor Oladipo agitated some of his Pacers teammates by saying some iteration of “Can I come play with y’all?” to members of the Raptors, Heat, and Knicks last season in front of his teammates, three sources tell J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star.
According to Michael, Oladipo has also gained a reputation throughout his career for being moody — he’ll be positive when things are going well, but has a tendency to point fingers if they aren’t, sources tell The Indy Star.
Still, Michael says the odds have increased that Oladipo will still be in Indiana when the 2020/21 season gets underway. As Michael explains, replacing head coach Nate McMillan with Nate Bjorkgren has helped “change the tone” for the Pacers, whose front office has maintained a “good rapport” with Oladipo. According to Michael, Oladipo’s agent Aaron Turner has also conveyed to the franchise that his client would like to stick around.
The Pacers have engaged in trade discussions involving Oladipo, including in hypothetical three-team deals that would also include big man Myles Turner, sources tell Michael. But for now, the two-time All-Star seems more likely than not to remain a Pacer until at least the 2021 trade deadline.
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- Indiana is keeping the door open for possible contract extension talks with Oladipo, but doesn’t expect a deal to be reached before he hits free agency in 2021, writes Michael. Signing a new contract in free agency would be the best way for Oladipo to maximize his earnings, since the most lucrative extension the Pacers can offer is worth less than the max.
- Turner has generated plenty of interest, with the Celtics and Hornets believed to be among the teams with an eye on him, according to Michael. League sources with knowledge of the situation tell The Indy Star that while Turner entered the offseason resigned to the possibility that he may be playing elsewhere in 2020/21, the most recent interactions he has had with the franchise suggest he may end up staying put.
- After joining the Pacers in 2019, Malcolm Brogdon emerged as the team’s leader. A league source told The Indy Star earlier this year that Oladipo felt it was “no longer his locker room” when he returned from his quad tendon injury, and two sources have since confirmed that sentiment, per Michael.
- Brogdon was also the player who was most outspoken and displeased with McMillan’s coaching style, which was referred to as “coaching through fear,” according to Michael.