This week the Indiana Pacers helped facilitate a multi-team deal between the Houston Rockets and Brooklyn Nets that landed James Harden with the latter squad. In the process, they traded away Victor Oladipo, who was due to become a free agent this offseason and they had no intention of giving a max contract to.
Oladipo found himself at the center of several potential trade scenarios over the past few months, but none materialized until this week.
So how did the Pacers locker room ultimately react to finally parting ways with Oladipo?
Pretty well, actually.
When pressed no how the team was coping, guard Malcolm Brogdon offered some interesting insight to Pacers insider Scott Agness.
“This is a steady team,” he said.
“This is a mature, becoming a veteran group that’s been together for a while. We lost a very good player, but this team is gonna continue to play good ball.”
In return for Oladipo, Indiana walked away with a young stud in Caris LeVert and a future second-rounder.
Yikes. It’s a wrap for Jackie MacMullan.https://t.co/lIFTuBiJtc
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 14, 2021
So far this season LeVert is averaging 18.5 points and 6 assists in 28 minutes of action per game. He will become an immediate contributor to a surprisingly strong Pacers group that is currently arguably the second-best squad in the Eastern Conference.
For comparison’s sake, Oladipo was averaging 20 points and 4.2 assists in 33.3 minutes per game.
While the jury is still out on how Oladipo will fare in Houston, the early returns on how the Pacers are without him are positive. On Thursday night, they defeated a solid Portland Trail Blazers team 111-87 to improve to 8-4 on the year.
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