The 28-year-old Oladipo told reporters Wednesday he wants to play once the season resumes.
Oladipo initially said he would opt out to rehab his quad injury. Oladipo suffered the injury last season, and returned for 13 games in 2020 before the NBA postponed play. Oladipo cited that injury and the uncertainty surrounding the NBA’s bubble plan when he opted out.
The league didn’t buy Oladipo’s reasoning. It considered Oladipo a healthy player, meaning he would not be paid if he opted out of the 2020 NBA restart. The league and union were reportedly going back and forth on the issue, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.
Oladipo said he hasn’t talked to anyone about that, and is just focused on making sure he’s healthy.
Oladipo on discussions with league about his getting paid if he doesn't play in Orlando: "I haven't talked to them. I don't have any control of that. I'm just focused on my knee" #Pacers— J. Michael (@ThisIsJMichael) July 15, 2020
Though he intended to opt out, Oladipo traveled to Orlando and has been practicing with the Pacers. The league viewed that as an indication Oladipo was good to go.
After getting in a few practices, Oladipo believes he’s in a good spot.
After saying his body is trending in the right direction: "There's a strong possibility I might play." #Pacers— J. Michael (@ThisIsJMichael) July 15, 2020
Oladipo didn’t fully commit to playing, but hinted he’s leaning that way. It sounds like as long as Oladipo’s knee holds up, he’ll give it a shot.
At 39-26, the Pacers sit in the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference. Oladipo struggled when he returned, and the Pacers went just 1-5 in his first six games back. As Oladipo found his stride, the team improved, going 6-1 in the next seven games in which Oladipo played.
If Oladipo is in even better shape after a few months off, the Pacers could be primed for a nice run once the postseason begins.
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