Rumor: Victor Oladipo leaning toward leaving Pacers in 2021 free agency

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Victor Oladipo, by deciding to sit out the NBA’s resumption at Disney World then ultimately playing, showed he’s wavering in his commitment to the Pacers.

An inflection point will come soon. Oladipo is approaching 2021 unrestricted free agency.

Sam Amick of The Athletic:

rumblings had persisted that he didn’t plan on re-signing with the Pacers.

Oladipo seemed to enjoy his time in Indiana, where he played collegiately. He blossomed into stardom with the Pacers.

But it’s also easy to see him ready to close this chapter. On and off the court, he could have bigger ambitions.

If Oladipo is leaning toward leaving, the Pacers firing Nate McMillan could boost their efforts to keep Oladipo. That at least shakes up the status quo.

Oladipo could sign an extension before free agency. But it’s difficult to find fair value for the 28-year-old who still hasn’t found his groove after missing a year to injury. Indiana also already has Malcolm Brogdon, Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner on lucrative long-term contracts.

The Pacers should at least explore trading Oladipo. They don’t have to make a move. He’d help them compete next season and still could re-sign. But faced with the possibility of losing him for nothing during the 2021 offseason, a preemptive move should be considered.