Malcolm Brogdon

Pacers Rumors: Oladipo, Turner, Brogdon, More

Victor Oladipo agitated some of his Pacers teammates by saying some iteration of “Can I come play with y’all?” to members of the Raptors, Heat, and Knicks last season in front of his teammates, three sources tell J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star.

According to Michael, Oladipo has also gained a reputation throughout his career for being moody — he’ll be positive when things are going well, but has a tendency to point fingers if they aren’t, sources tell The Indy Star.

Still, Michael says the odds have increased that Oladipo will still be in Indiana when the 2020/21 season gets underway. As Michael explains, replacing head coach Nate McMillan with Nate Bjorkgren has helped “change the tone” for the Pacers, whose front office has maintained a “good rapport” with Oladipo. According to Michael, Oladipo’s agent Aaron Turner has also conveyed to the franchise that his client would like to stick around.

The Pacers have engaged in trade discussions involving Oladipo, including in hypothetical three-team deals that would also include big man Myles Turner, sources tell Michael. But for now, the two-time All-Star seems more likely than not to remain a Pacer until at least the 2021 trade deadline.

Here’s more on the Pacers:

  • Indiana is keeping the door open for possible contract extension talks with Oladipo, but doesn’t expect a deal to be reached before he hits free agency in 2021, writes Michael. Signing a new contract in free agency would be the best way for Oladipo to maximize his earnings, since the most lucrative extension the Pacers can offer is worth less than the max.
  • Turner has generated plenty of interest, with the Celtics and Hornets believed to be among the teams with an eye on him, according to Michael. League sources with knowledge of the situation tell The Indy Star that while Turner entered the offseason resigned to the possibility that he may be playing elsewhere in 2020/21, the most recent interactions he has had with the franchise suggest he may end up staying put.
  • After joining the Pacers in 2019, Malcolm Brogdon emerged as the team’s leader. A league source told The Indy Star earlier this year that Oladipo felt it was “no longer his locker room” when he returned from his quad tendon injury, and two sources have since confirmed that sentiment, per Michael.
  • Brogdon was also the player who was most outspoken and displeased with McMillan’s coaching style, which was referred to as “coaching through fear,” according to Michael.

Central Notes: Brogdon, Cavs, Pistons, Bulls

Count veteran guard Malcolm Brogdon among those who are enthusiastic about the Pacers‘ decision to hire former Raptors assistant Nate Bjorkgren as their new head coach. Appearing on ESPN’s The Jump on Thursday, Brogdon said he’d had lunch with Bjorkgren earlier in the day and is looking forward to getting to work with the first-time head coach.

“He’s going to be terrific,” Brogdon said, per Tim Bontemps of ESPN. “Toronto has a great culture, as we all know, and a lot of bright young minds, and he’s one of them, so I’m super excited to have him on board.”

Brogdon also told The Jump’s panel that he’s working this offseason on expanding his game by improving his shot off the dribble. And after missing at least 18 games in each of the past three seasons due to injuries, he’s hoping he can stay healthier in 2020/21.

“My only fully healthy season has been my rookie year, and then the past three years I’ve sat out 15 to 20 games,” Brogdon said. “So that’s really hurt me, and I think it’s really hurt my team.”

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • After months of consideration, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com offers up what he thinks are the Cavaliers‘ top five options with the No. 5 selection, starting with trading down. Fedor – who assumes that LaMelo Ball, Anthony Edwards, and James Wiseman won’t be available at No. 5 – contends that Isaac Okoro and Onyeka Okongwu should be the Cavs’ top targets if they keep the pick.
  • Within a mailbag, James L. Edwards III of The Athletic considers whether the probability of fans not being in arenas for 2020/21 should influence the Pistons‘ roster decisions at all this offseason — not having to worry about selling tickets to 41 home games means the team could be more willing to bottom out.
  • While the Bulls may explore trading up or down in the lottery, Sam Smith of Bulls.com expects the team to ultimately stand pat at No. 4.

Central Notes: Donovan, Bucks, Oladipo, Thomas

New Bulls head coach Billy Donovan will greatly help the Chicago’s young roster, Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times opines. In Donovan, the Bulls finally have a coach who will work to factor in the strengths of his players as he game-plans, as opposed to striving to make players conform to his system. Former Bulls head coaches Fred Hoiberg and Jim Boylen both struggled to fit their players into their preferred offensive systems.

“[O]ne of the things I’ve always felt is important when you’re building out different things offensively is I think you’ve got to spend time with players to hear how they want to be used,” Donovan said recently of the coaching philosophy he brings to the Bulls. “And then you build out how you want to play from there.’’

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • Eric Nehm of The Athletic brainstorms potential routes through which the Bucks can upgrade their point guard position. Currently, 30-year-old starting point guard Eric Bledsoe, a two-time All-Defensive Team inclusion with Milwaukee, is earning $16.9MM and is with the team through the 2022/23 season. His contract for the final year is only partially guaranteed. Bledsoe’s limitations as an offensive creator hamper his fit with the Bucks. Backup point guard George Hill is earning $9.6MM through 2021/22, though the 2021/22 season is only partially guaranteed. Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday is weighed as a trade option were the Bucks to flip Bledsoe and other pieces, while D.J. Augustin and Jeff Teague are considered as viable biannual exception signings.
  • The Pacers front office has recently spoken a couple times with star guard Victor Oladipo, J. Michael of the Indianapolis Star tweets. Last week, there were rumblings that Oladipo, a free agent in 2021 and a two-time All-Star with Indiana, would be amenable to a trade.
  • As we previously relayedKhyri Thomas impressed Pistons coach Dwane Casey during Detroit’s recent mini-camp team practices. After undergoing a foot surgery last fall, Thomas was limited to just playing in eight games of the 2019/20 season.

Oladipo Not Playing On Monday; Brogdon Returns

1:32pm: Oladipo has officially been ruled out for Monday’s game, while Brogdon will be active, tweets Agness.


10:45am: Pacers guard Victor Oladipo has been listed as doubtful to play in Monday’s game against the Wizards, as Scott Agness of Vigilant Sports tweets. Oladipo continues to rehab the quad tendon injury that he returned from earlier this year.

The fact that Oladipo isn’t expected to suit up against Washington shouldn’t be a cause for concern for Pacers fans. Indiana is also scheduled to play on Tuesday vs. Orlando, and even after the All-Star guard changed his mind about sitting out the restart, there was an expectation that he wouldn’t play in both halves of the team’s lone back-to-back set. Sitting on Monday should mean that Oladipo is good to go on Tuesday.

Oladipo, who announced a month ago today that he would opting out of the restart this summer, reconsidered that position after accompanying the Pacers to Orlando and responding well in practices. He logged 32 minutes in the club’s win over Philadelphia on Saturday, putting up 15 points and seven rebounds on 6-of-14 shooting.

Meanwhile, Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon, who missed that game against the Sixers due to a neck injury, is listed as questionable for Monday’s contest vs. Washington, Agness notes. If Brogdon isn’t able to return today, he seems likely to do so soon.

Victor Oladipo Will Start Pacers’ Opener

Victor Oladipo will be in the starting lineup as the Pacers begin their reseeding schedule tonight, the team announced on Twitter. Oladipo, who wasn’t sure if he was going to play at all in Orlando because of concerns about his quad tendon, had been listed as a game-time decision.

“He is in the lineup, he’ll be starting tonight,” coach Nate McMillan said. “So yes, he’s playing and ready to go.”

Oladipo has appeared in just 13 games this season after recovering from surgery that kept him sidelined until late January. He averaged 13.8 points in 25.9 minutes per night, which are both career lows. He also shot a career-worst .391 from the field and .304 from 3-point range.

Oladipo reportedly decided in early July to skip the NBA’s restart, but he remained on the Pacers’ roster and accompanied the team to Orlando. He had second thoughts once he went through a couple of practices at the Walt Disney World campus.

“This is very, very rare so right now I’m trying to figure things out just like everybody else had to figure what situation they were in,” Oladipo said, per Eric Woodyard of ESPN. “… Essentially this is my knee and my body, my leg and I’ve got to listen to how I respond because everyone responds differently.”

The news isn’t as good for backcourt partner Malcolm Brogdon, who will sit out tonight’s game because of a neck injury, the team announced in a separate tweet. This marks the 18th game Brogdon has missed this season with eight different ailments, notes Nat Newell of The Indianapolis Star.

Central Notes: Brogdon, Pacers, Giannis, Pistons

Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon tested positive for the coronavirus when the NBA’s mandatory testing program began in June, but announced today (via Twitter) that he’s “feeling well” and is “ready for Orlando.”

The Pacers are one of eight teams scheduled to travel to the Walt Disney World campus on Thursday, and with Brogdon’s quarantine period now over, there’s hope that he’ll be able to accompany the team on that trip. According to Scott Agness of Vigilant Sports (Twitter link), Brogdon has to return another negative COVID-19 test before getting the go-ahead to travel with the Pacers to Orlando.

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star explores how Victor Oladipo‘s absence will impact the Pacers‘ rotation this summer, writing that Aaron Holiday and Edmond Sumner are the best bets to see increased roles.
  • Asked today if he has any concerns about teams tampering with Giannis Antetokounmpo at the NBA’s campus in Orlando, Bucks GM Jon Horst replied, “Zero,” tweets Eric Nehm of The Athletic. Horst went on to joke that such tampering would “technically violate the social distancing rules” of the campus.
  • It’s not clear yet what responsibilities new Pistons assistant GM David Mincberg will take on, but the veteran executive is “something of a jack-of-all-trades addition” for the team, according to Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press, who notes that Mincberg has experience in scouting, analytics, salary cap management, and legal counsel.

Malcolm Brogdon Tests Positive For Coronavirus

12:27pm: Brogdon has confirmed his positive COVID-19 test in a statement on the Pacers’ website:

“I recently tested positive for the COVID virus and am currently in quarantine. I’m doing well, feeling well and progressing well. I plan to join my teammates in Orlando for the resumption of the NBA season and playoffs.”

12:03pm: Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon has tested positive for the coronavirus, reports J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star (via Twitter).

Teams began mandatory testing for COVID-19 on Tuesday as they prepare for the NBA restart in Orlando next month. Brogdon is the second notable player known to have tested positive this week — word broke yesterday that Nikola Jokic has also contracted the virus.

The league is bracing for a number of positive coronavirus tests this week, but those cases aren’t expected to derail the plan to resume the season. The goal is to identify players with COVID-19 now and ensure they don’t bring it with them into the Orlando bubble next month.

Brogdon and other players who test positive will quarantine until they’re symptom-free and considered fully recovered. At that point, they’ll be permitted to travel to Orlando for group workouts and training camps.

It’s not clear whether or not Brogdon is suffering from any coronavirus symptoms, but hopefully he makes a speedy recovery either way.

Malcolm Brogdon: “I’m 100%”

Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon offered good news about his injury status in a brief message to fans on the team’s Twitter account.

“I’m feeling great,” he said. “I’ve been doing a lot of rehab, doing as much as I can under this quarantine, but I’m 100%. I’ve been on my bike, my Peloton bike, and I’ve been running hills in my backyard. Thank you for all of your support and wishes and prayers.”

Brogdon was listed as week to week when he suffered a torn muscle in his quadriceps in early March. He said at the time that he was planning to return for the postseason, but the NBA’s hiatus has allowed him to heal while missing hardly any games.

Brogdon has made an impact in his first season with Indiana after coming from the Bucks in a sign-and-trade deal. He’s averaging 16.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 7.1 assists through 48 games and has the Pacers tied for fifth in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

Central Notes: Pistons, Beasley, S. Brown, Brogdon

The Pistons will enter the NBA offseason looking for upgrades in free agency and James Edwards III of The Athletic examines some restricted free agent options in the upcoming draft.

Malik Beasley is among the possibilities suggested by Edwards, though Detroit may have to overpay if the franchise hopes to land the shooting guard. Beasley came to Minnesota in the Robert Covington deal at the trade deadline and the Wolves have the right to match any offer sheet he receives.

Here’s more from the Central Division:

  • Sterling Brown is another possible target, Edwards notes in the same piece. Brown has shown flashes in limited minutes for the Bucks and it’s feasible that the 25-year-old could perform better with more run.
  • Malcolm Brogdon was nursing a quad injury prior to the NBA’s hiatus, but Indiana’s prized offseason addition has informed Pacers president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard that he’s 100 percent recovered, as Scott Agness of The Athletic tweets.
  • If the season resumes, the Pacers may benefit from a healthy backcourt, J. Michael of the Indianapolis Star writes. In addition to Brogdon healing up, Victor Oladipo would have more time to get back to top form. Doug McDermott, who was nursing a big toe injury, has already returned to full health.

Central Notes: Wood, Brogdon, Cavs, Bulls

Christian Wood will be reaching the unrestricted free agent market in 2020 on the heels of a career year, and the Pistons‘ big man isn’t pretending that he hasn’t thought about what the offseason might bring, as Keith Langlois of Pistons.com details.

“I know it’s a big summer for me,” Wood said on Tuesday. “I actually think I’m one of the best bigs in this free agency coming up with my ability to shoot and space the floor and be able to play the five and be able to guard and switch on the perimeter. I’ve just got to stay focused. I’ve got to keep with the same mindset, same attitude what I’m doing right now.”

While Wood should draw a good deal of interest on the open market this summer, he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of remaining with the Pistons. The fact that Detroit is the team that finally gave him an opportunity to play a regular role is something he won’t forget as he considers his options, per Langlois.

“It’s a huge factor,” Wood said. “Especially with this team being one of the first to actually give me a legitimate chance and playing in games and believing in me and believing in what I do. Especially with (head coach Dwane) Casey, with us establishing a relationship early and throughout right now. It plays a big factor.”

Here’s more from around the Central: