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Oladipo to sit out NBA resumption

theScore logo theScore 2020-07-03 John Chick, Chicco Nacion
Victor Oladipo holding a basketball © Andy Lyons / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Indiana Pacers star Victor Oladipo won't play when the 2019-20 NBA season resumes, he told The Athletic's Shams Charania.

Despite opting out of the league's restart, Oladipo plans on traveling with the team to Orlando. The 28-year-old will receive his salary if he makes the trip, but the Pacers won't be able to add a replacement player, according to ESPN's Bobby Marks.

"I really want to play, and as a competitor and teammate this is tearing me apart," Oladipo said, according to Charania. "I feel like I'm at a great place in my rehab and getting closer and closer to 100 percent. With all the variables, from how I have to build my five-on-five workload back up, to the increased risk of a soft tissue injury which could delay my rehab, and the unknown exact setup of the bubble, I just can't get my mind to being fully comfortable in playing."

Oladipo returned to action in January after missing a year due to a torn quad tendon. He appeared to be rounding into form when the NBA paused the campaign, averaging 19.5 points and shooting 42.9% from deep during his last four contests.

The two-time All-Star recently ramped up his training, but he and the medical staff concluded it was in his best long-term interest to sit out.

"I have to be smart and this decision hasn't been easy, but I truly believe continuing on the course I'm on and getting fully healthy for the 2020-21 season is the right decision for me," Oladipo said.

Oladipo has shined since joining the Pacers in 2017 as part of the Paul George blockbuster trade. During his debut campaign, the 28-year-old averaged a career-high 23.1 points and led the Association with 2.4 steals per contest.

The former No. 2 overall pick capped off the 2017-18 campaign with NBA All-Defensive first-team honors, an All-NBA third-team selection, and the league's Most Improved Player Award.

Indiana is set to resume play on Aug. 1 against the Philadelphia 76ers. The Pacers entered the NBA's hiatus with a 39-26 mark and currently occupy the Eastern Conference's fifth seed.

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