UPDATE 4:54 p.m.: Oladipo won’t play, but is going to travel to Orlando with the team, per beat writer Scott Agness.
The Indiana Pacers sit at fifth in the Eastern Conference ahead of the NBA’s restart in late July, but their roster just suffered a major blow. Victor Oladipo has opted to sit out for the remainder of the season, he told The Athletic’s Shams Charania Friday. The two-time All-Star is making a commitment to getting completely healthy after missing a large portion of the 2018-19 season with a serious leg injury.
“I really want to play, and as a competitor and teammate this is tearing me apart,” Oladipo said. “I feel like I’m at a great place in my rehab and getting closer and closer to 100 percent. With all the variables, from how I have to build my 5-on-5 workload back up, to the increased risk of a soft tissue injury which could delay my rehab, and the unknown exact set up of the bubble, I just can’t get my mind to being fully comfortable in playing.”
Oladipo’s decision will impact Indiana’s title odds significantly and should weaken its title odds. The Pacers’ odds to win the NBA Finals were +10000 before Oladipo decided to end his season prematurely. The guard averaged 13.2 points, 3.2 assist, and 3.2 rebounds before the season was put on hold because of the Covid-19 virus and wasn’t quite the two-way star he was before getting injured. However, his continued improvement would’ve helped Indiana remain competitive in the postseason.
The Pacers lost some important wing depth when Jeremy Lamb went down with a torn ACL in February, and now they’ll have to find a new backcourt parter for Malcolm Brogdon. Let’s go over how this development could affect Indiana from a fantasy perspective.
Fantasy basketball impact
Oladipo was the only true shooting guard Indiana had left on its roster. The two players best suited to fill his spot are Aaron and Justin Holiday. Both are knockdown shooters from beyond the arc and rank among the best on the team as far as shooting percentage goes. Aaron’s per 36 stats are more impressive though, and he’s a far better playmaker than his lankier brother. I’d lean on the younger Holiday because of that, as he can act as a floor general for the second unit while also playing spot minutes as a starter. Brogdon is big enough to guard opposing shooting guards and make up for Aaron’s lack of size.