With Oladipo’s potential return still likely at least one month away, there’s no specific date or game targeted as of yet. However, Wojnarowski notes that if Oladipo achieves his goal of returning by the end of January or early February, he could end up being the most impactful “addition” made by any Eastern Conference contender before the February 6 trade deadline.
Even without Oladipo, the Pacers are off to a great start this season, with a 21-10 record. That’s a 55-win pace, though it only puts Indiana sixth in what has been a competitive Eastern Conference playoff race so far. The Pacers are just 1.5 games back of the No. 2 seed, so they could make a run at a top seed once Oladipo returns.
If Oladipo is able to make it back by early February, he’ll ultimately have missed just over one year as a result of his quad injury, which occurred on January 23. Before going down with that injury, the veteran guard had been named an All-Star in each of his first two seasons in Indiana. He has averaged 21.7 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 4.6 APG, and 2.1 SPG on .461/.362/.780 shooting in 111 games since joining the Pacers in a blockbuster 2017 trade.