Just hours before the NBA trade deadline came to a close at 3 p.m. ET on February 10, the league was still in a frenzy. While the Miami Heat sent KZ Okpala to the Oklahoma City Thunder in a multifaceted trade the day before, the team watched another one of their former prospects, Bol Bol, get moved on Thursday.
While Bol was initially expected to be taken as a top 10 pick, the 7-foot-2 center was drafted out of Oregon by the Heat in the second round of the 2019 Draft. However, Bol never played a game with the South Beach franchise. The 22-year-old was immediately sent to the Denver Nuggets in a prearranged deal, where he was signed to a two-way contract.
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His first-ever NBA minutes came while playing against the Heat during the 2020 playoffs in the Disney bubble. He scored five points and four rebounds in under 11 minutes of play during the Nuggets’ 125-105 loss to Miami.
During the 2021 NBA season, the Sudanese star was traded to the Detroit Pistons, the Boston Celtics, and following Thursday’s three-way trade — he’s now a member of the Orlando Magic.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted, “The Celtics are trading PJ Dozier and Bol Bol, a future second and cash to the Magic for a future second-round pick, sources tell ESPN. Dozier and Bol are both out for the season. Cost-savings for Boston.”
Bol underwent surgery to address an injury in his right foot, as reported by The Athletic in January, and is not expected to return to play until the 2022 NBA season.
Former Heat Fan-Favorite Goran Dragic Was Traded to the San Antonio Spurs
Another notable Heat alumnus involved in the trades on Thursday is fan-favorite Goran Dragic. The Athletic’s Shams Charania tweeted, “The Toronto Raptors are trading Goran Dragic to the San Antonio Spurs for Thad Young, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.”
“The Dragon” was initially sent to the Toronto Raptors in the sign-and-trade deal that brought six-time All-Star Kyle Lowry to the Heat in free agency. The 35-year-old veteran was never happy in Toronto, nor is he expected to stay in San Antonio. Dragic is expected to be bought out and signed by another team.
While a buyout would allow Dragic to return to Miami, at the moment, things don’t appear to be shaking out that way. Miami Herald’s Anthony Chiang tweeted, “Should be noted that I have not yet heard of any Heat interest in bringing back Goran Dragic. @wojespn reported that Dallas, Milwaukee, Chicago, Clippers are expected to be interested in Dragic once he agrees to a buyout with the Spurs.”
If Dragic doesn’t return to Miami, rumored reports have linked him to joining up with his fellow Slovenian NBA star, Luka Doncic, and sign with the Mavericks.
Will Okpala Play in Oklahoma City?
Okpala, who’s been out with a wrist injury for the bulk of the 2021 NBA season, appeared in 63 games during his tenure with the Heat. The 22-year-old averaged 3.7 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 0.7 assists per game. After being traded to Oklahoma City, it’s not exactly clear how much playing time the third-year forward will see, or if he’ll remain with the team.
When asked if the franchise plans to keep Okpala, “We’re gonna let the dust settle,” Thunder coach Mark Daigneault told The Oklahoman. “After the deadline we’ll have a much better idea on any stuff like that. Obviously, things are fluid this time of year.”
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