Indiana Pacers: 4 impacts if Victor Oladipo doesn’t come to Orlando

Indiana Pacers (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Indiana Pacers (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /
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Kevin Pritchard Indiana Pacers
Kevin Pritchard Indiana Pacers (Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Pacers impacts of Victor Oladipo sitting: Question marks about team timeline

The Pacers timeline has been muddied by Victor Oladipo’s injury, but not enough to be a major cause for concern. This year was a strange one, but there was a light at the end of the tunnel in that Oladipo had returned and was starting to get back into the swing of things.

Then, the pandemic hit, and the season was suspended. That created timeline questions for every team, the Pacers included.

Should they enter the postseason without Oladipo, they will need to look at their future. With almost everyone of significance (aside from Justin Holiday, who is an unrestricted free agent) on the books for next year, the team is insulated from any short-term changes coming from Oladipo not playing, but it leaves them with just one more season of Oladipo and their entire core before things get weird.

For a small-market team, the uncertainty of what your core will look like three and four years out is more concerning than for a big-market team. The Pacers can’t count on free agents wanting to play in their city, and the draft is always a calculated risk.

This season’s conclusion and next season as well will both be strange. There are no guarantees for any team. The Pacers don’t have any major immediate risks, but the “sunshine and rainbow” outcome of Indiana gelling in this year’s postseason and running it back for a Conference Final or deeper run the following year doesn’t feel implicit.