Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo said Saturday he is hopeful to play when the NBA restarts its season in Florida next month, but he wants to ramp up his activity before making a decision.
Oladipo, 28, returned from a torn right quad tendon sustained in November of 2018 to play this January, appearing in 13 games with periodic time off before the season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic on March 11. He wants to limit the chances of another major injury following a long layoff.
“I feel a whole lot better,” Oladipo told ESPN. “I know there’s risk going into it with the unique situation that I’m in — being off so long and trying to ramp it up that fast. I’ve just got to be smart, that’s all.”
Players must tell their teams by Wednesday if they plan not to participate during the resumed season in Orlando, but the Pacers don’t have to rush a decision on Oladipo. They don’t have to provide a roster until July 1, and they could keep him on the roster weeks beyond that before making a decision.
Oladipo averaged 13.8 points, 3.2 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 0.8 steals in 13 games (10 starts) after his return, averaging 25.9 minutes per game. During back-to-back All-Star campaigns from 2017-19, he averaged 21.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 2.1 steals in 33.3 minutes.
In seven NBA seasons, Oladipo has career averages of 17.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.7 steals.
The Pacers (39-26) are currently tied with Philadelphia for fifth in the Eastern Conference.
—Field Level Media