1. Keep Victor Oladipo healthy
With free agency season looming around the corner, Kevin Pritchard and the Pacers will have to make some pivotal decisions about who to hold onto and what lineup changes will be appropriate. The Pacers’ chances aren’t a guarantee of landing a marquee talent this summer, but one thing that is guaranteed is the return of Victor Oladipo.
Regardless of whether or not drastic changes are made to Indiana’s lineup, the team’s No. 1 priority — both during the offseason and start of next season — should be keeping Dipo in prime shape. He’s proved he can lead the team, and his combination of work ethic and skill should have Pacers fans excited for his comeback.
While there’s no timetable for his return to basketball activity yet, the Pacers should already be thinking about the start of next season with him in the lineup. The team needs to prepare to integrate him into an offense where he, Bogey, Sabonis and Turner can all get touches and score in rhythm. It also wouldn’t hurt to try a “load management” approach to Oladipo’s time on the court, seeing as it worked well for Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors in the regular season.
While this offseason presents an interesting challenge for a Pacers team trying to stay competitive, Indiana can rest assured knowing Oladipo is the one of a few pieces they have glued to their core of talent.