NBA Season Restart 2019-20

Victor Oladipo: 'Strong possibility' of playing in restart

Indiana Pacers star guard Victor Oladipo isn’t out of the season restart just yet, it seems.

In a Zoom call with reporters, Oladipo said he’s reassessing his body and may suit up after all. This comes after he said in a July 3 interview with The Athletic that he was sitting out the rest of the 2019-20 season.

“I’m definitely here trying to play and training myself in order to play,” Oladipo said. “Hopefully everything goes well and I feel better than I even feel now.

“I feel like if my body keeps trending up, there’s a strong possibility that I might play. I’m definitely trying to. I’m coming out here and working hard every day, trying to help my team.”

Oladipo, who returned from a ruptured quadriceps tendon injury earlier this season, originally said he wanted to continue focusing on his rehab when he ruled himself out. On Wednesday, he said he made that move because he did not have the resources available to test his knee out.

“I didn’t feel as if I would be capable of playing. I was always going to come to the bubble,” Oladipo said.

Pacers coach Nate McMillan said Wednesday that Oladipo has been “looking good” and there are no restrictions on his ability to play.

“He’s been looking good. He’s been working extremely hard,” McMillan said. “He’s a guy that just puts in his work, his time. … He’s been working hard.

“There are no restrictions on him in practice and that’s pretty much were we are right now.”

The two-time All-Star played in 13 games before the coronavirus forced a stoppage in play on March 11. He was working his way into shape after returning from injury and even scored a season-high 27 points on the eve of the season’s suspension.

The Pacers will enter the restart as the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference, with their first seeding game coming against the No. 6 seed Philadelphia 76ers on Aug. 1.