Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo has already made the rounds on the rumor mill, given that he is entering the final year of his contract.
He has been linked to the New York Knicks, Miami Heat and undoubtedly a few others. But Oladipo has repeatedly said he wants to be with the Pacers this season.
During Tuesday’s media day, he stressed the same — though the emphasis seemed to be on this season.
“I never came out and said I didn’t want to play for the Pacers and be with this organization,” Oladipo told reporters. “I love the coaching staff. I’m familiar with (assistant coach) Calbert Cheaney, so it’s great to see him here.”
As for being eligible for free agency at the end of the season, Oladipo will leave that in the hands of Cleveland-based agent Aaron Turner.
The Pacers are coming off another playoff appearance, but also another first-round exit. They replaced coach Nate McMillan with former Toronto Raptors assistant Nate Bjorkgren.
They are trying to take the next step as Oladipo apparently has recovered from a ruptured quad, suffered more than a year ago. Oladipo is the face of the franchise, but there are plenty more reasons for hope — from power forward Domantas Sabonis to small forward T.J. Warren to center Myles Turner.
Oladipo stressed he is ready for another run..
“I feel a lot better. A lot stronger,” he said. “I definitely feel better from in the bubble until now.”