It will be a big season for standout guard Victor Oladipo and the Indiana Pacers, and on the bright side, they are starting fresh.
That’s because the Pacers just hired a new coach in Nate Bjorkgren, who spent the previous two seasons as an assistant with the Toronto Raptors. It’s also because Oladipo is entering the final year of his contract.
Translation: All sides hope to win, a lot, and impress each other by taking the next steps as an organization.
So far, it appears things are off to a good start. After all, Oladipo texted Bjorkgren once it was made known that Bjorkgren got the coaching job.
“We had a great talk,” Bjorkgren told reporters.
Oladipo is just one of the Pacers’ reasons for hope. Small forward T.J. Warren was fantastic during the NBA return in Orlando. Power forward Domantas Sabonis was an All-Star. Center Myles Turner remained as steady as ever and point guard Malcolm Brogdon remained one of the league’s most underrated at his position.
But the focus is always on Oladipo, the face of the franchise and top threat before rupturing his quad in January 2019. The Pacers think he will again rise to that previous level now that he is getting time for some real rest and rehab.
“We have a great relationship,” Pacers president Kevin Pritchard said. “He feels good about the team. He’s talked to me about how he thinks this team could be very good, but we’re just taking it a day at a time. We hear a lot of things, but until it comes to me, I don’t really worry about that.”
Basically, all the Pacers can do is march on best they can, see how this all plays out in 2020-21 and hope Oladipo and Bjorkgren prove to be a winning combination.