Pacers star Oladipo avoids talk of free agency after sweep

Sam Amico

It wasn't much of a stay for the Indiana Pacers in the Orlando bubble, and now all the talk is centered on star guard Victor Oladipo and his future.

Unless, of course, you ask Oladipo.

"I'm not really worried about that right now," he told reporters. "I'm just focused on making sure I get my knee right, get fully strong, get my health where it needs to be. I'll worry about all that when the time comes."

The Pacers were swept out of the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs by the Miami Heat. It marks the second straight season in which the Pacers suffered a 4-0 loss in the first round.

Oladipo spent the season coming off major surgery on his right knee. He suffered the injury in January 2019 and appeared in just 13 games before the league went on hiatus in March. 

He seemed to be coming around, slowly but surely, but the suspension of the season changed everything. Oladipo went from playing five-on-five in NBA games to trying to rebuild the knee ... well, mostly alone.

He is eligible to become a free agent at the end of next season, provided he doesn't sign an extension. According to J. Michael of the Indianapolis Star, free agency is precisely what Oladipo intends to test.

As for this past season, Oladipo wavered on whether to play before deciding to give it a go. The Pacers also lost All-Star power forward Domantas Sabonis to a foot injury.

Coach Nate McMillan suggested that things may have been different if both were healthy, and perhaps things will different next season, whenever that should come.

"I really felt we could win. When we were coming down to this bubble I know Victor said what he said but I thought he would play," McMillan said. "He had told me he was coming down, he was going to work out. I felt we would have everybody. I felt Victor would play. I felt Domas would be ready to go. I felt this team, healthy, could win a series. We just didn't get a chance to see that."

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