He will say it’s not about the money, he just wants to be out there. You can decide for yourself what people mean when they say it’s not about the money.
Bottom line: Victor Oladipo is playing and even start for the Indiana Pacers on Saturday, according to coach Nate McMillan (via J. Michael of the Indy Star).
McMillan on Oladipo: "He is in the lineup. He'll be starting tonight. He's playing and ready to go…. There is a minute restriction. We want to keep them around 28, no more than 30 minutes tonight. " #PacersSixers
— J. Michael (@ThisIsJMichael) August 1, 2020
Things had been leaning this way for a while.
Oladipo sat out about a year with a ruptured quadriceps tendon above his right knee. He rejoined the Pacers rotation 13 games before the NBA season was shut down and was starting to find his legs in March when the league was shut down due to the coronavirus.
When it came time to commit to going to Orlando for the restart, Oladipo announced he was sitting out due to increased injury risk during a quick ramp-up to play. He wanted a medical exception, which meant he would get his regular-season checks during the restart.
However, the league saw the games played — and the fact Oladipo traveled with the team to Orlando and was practicing full speed — and said he would be counted as a player not out due to injury. Which means Oladipo would not get paid for the games in Orlando — that’s $2.8 million if the Pacers got swept in the first round, and $3.2 million if they play at least six games.
Whatever the reason, Oladipo is playing on Saturday, and Indiana is a bigger threat with him.
The Pacers and 76ers are tied for the 5/6 seeds in the East heading into this game, making it an important one in terms of playoff seedings and matchups.