The Indiana Pacers finally hired their new head coach, but a big question still looms over Pritchard and company. What do they do with Victor Oladipo?
Well Pacer Nation, the wait is finally over. Shams Charania blessed our timelines this morning with the news that the Pacers have finally made their coaching hire. Kevin Pritchard has made Nate Bjorkgren the new head coach of the Indiana Pacers. After almost a two-month coaching search the Pacers have finally found the new helm of the team.
Common fans may not know much about Nate Bjorkgren as he was a quiet candidate throughout the search. Bjorkgren was Nick Nurse’s top assistant in Toronto and also served as an assistant for Nick Nurse during his time in the G-League. He eventually became a head coach in the G-League himself. He has also been an assistant twice in the NBA for both Phoenix and Toronto.
Now that the Pacers have found their next coach, the big question of the offseason still looms large over Kevin Pritchard and the front office. They still need to decide what to do with Victor Oladipo. It has been reported that Oladipo has been disgruntled with the Pacers and will be looking to get a max contract whether that be with Indiana or elsewhere.
Personally, I think that the Pacers will stay pat with Oladipo and see how he plays and feels about playing under our new coach. A trade will be difficult to pull off to where the Pacers will feel like they are getting fair compensation back since Oladipo’s trade value has been speculated to be low around the league.
Oladipo is in a contract season and still coming off a devastating knee injury. In the 19 games Oladipo played in last season, he averaged 14.5 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 2.9 assists, all lows since he has been in Indy. I can understand why teams would be wary of making a move for him.
Teams may be low on Vic but that doesn’t mean a move can’t be done. One of Bjorkgren’s top players happens to be a free agent this offseason. I think Fred VanVleet could be a solid addition to the Pacers. The Pacers could do a sign and trade with Toronto that would send Oladipo north and VanVleet to Indy.
If the Raptors feel like they couldn’t retain VanVleet this could be a solid consolation prize for Toronto by adding Oladipo to a squad that is in win-now mode. The chance of this happening is most likely pretty slim but it is something to consider.
The next few weeks will be interesting to see how the Pacers move forward in terms of Oladipo. The NBA Draft will be the first instance Oladipo could be moved. Free agency will be held shortly after the draft as well. With less than a month until then we all will be paying close attention to this front office and waiting patiently for the next move.