The Indiana Pacers lost Paul George, Jeff Teague and C.J. Miles. Key additions include Victor Oladipo, Darren Collison and Bojan Bogdanovic.
And it is that first name, Oladipo, who coach Nate McMillan and the Pacers are hoping puts together a breakout season.
Oladipo is a 6-foot-4 shooting guard who came over from the Oklahoma City Thunder in the George trade. He hasn’t been too bad so far — averaging 15.9 points and 4.3 rebounds in 67 games last season.
He seems to understand that, now, he has an opportunity to be the face of a franchise.
As noted in the Indianapolis Star, Oladipo was asked by a reporter if he expected to make a point of being the point man on defense.
“I’m going to make a point of being the point guy for everything,” he said.
Oladipo played his college ball at Indiana, and was the second overall pick in the 2013 draft (by the Orlando Magic). He has the athleticism to compete in the Slam Dunk Contest (which he did in 2015), and the skills to play either guard position.
Oladipo, 24, has also gained a reputation for his strong practice habits and reviewing of game film. He is obsessed with the game — just like they like you to be in Indiana.
Following the trade, the second of his short career, he has promised to be even more devoted.
With an almost entirely new team, that can only be considered a good thing — both for Oladipo and a Pacers team that needs reason to feel good about itself.
“Now I’m in attack mode all of the time,” Oladipo told a New York radio station, via the Star. “I’m not worried about anything else but competing and winning. That’s how it is.”