Victor Oladipo will remain out of the lineup for Wednesday’s game against Milwaukee. The Pacers haven’t won a game since the shooting guard injured his knee against the Pistons last week and coach Nate McMillan understands why the team has struggled.
“He was doing a lot for us, as far as scoring and leading transition and bringing a kind of leadership role and energy that our guys feed off of,” McMillan said of Oladipo (via Jim Ayello of the Indianapolis Star. “You know, it’s not only the fans [he engerizes] with his playmaking.”
Oladipo, who’s in the first year of a four-year, $84MM deal, came to Indiana via the Paul George trade and he’s played at an All-Star level, helping the Pacers become playoff contenders. Despite losing the last four games, the franchise remains in the mix, entering the day with sole possession of the eighth seed in the conference with a record of 19-18.
Here’s more from the Central Division:
- Isaiah Thomas will be a free agent at the end of the season and a front office executive tells Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer that his potential earnings are hard to predict. Some teams may overlook his hip injury while others will scratch him off their list entirely because of it. O’Connor notes that a Kyle Lowry-level three-year, $100MM deal may be Thomas’ best case scenario while the worst case would be a lucrative one-year, prove it deal.
- Another executive tells O’Connor (same piece) that Thomas’ best offer could come from a team looking to use the Washington product as a short-term bridge option at the point. The executive adds that the Bulls and Mavs are franchises that fit the mold.
- The Cavaliers are planning on an initial 20-to-22 minute restriction for Thomas and the “flow of his comeback” will determine the amount of court time he will receive going forward, Shams Charania of The Vertical tweets. Thomas will make his debut for Cleveland tonight against Portland.