While Victor Oladipo has yet to officially step on the court as a member of the Miami Heat, the newly acquired two-time All-Star from the Houston Rockets has already debuted his new jersey on social media.
In one of the most exciting trades to take place on March 25, Miami acquired Oladipo from the Rockets in exchange for Kelly Olynyk, Avery Bradley, and a 2022 draft swap, as reported by The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
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The following day, Oladipo, who had made it very clear he wanted a trade out of Houston, switched up his profile picture on Instagram, where the 28-year-old guard has 1.4 million followers, and Twitter, where he’s amassed 315,700 followers, to reveal his Heat No.7 ViceVersa edition jersey.
Rumors linking Oladipo to the Heat started circling back in mid-February, and Miami remained one of the top contenders to acquire Oladipo. Because the NBA star’s four-year, $85 million contract expires at the end of the season, it was in the Rockets’ best interest to trade Oladipo before March 25 deadline. If they waited until the summer, when Oladipo would become an unrestricted free agent, Houston could’ve lost him for nothing in return.
Oldaipo, who’s averaging 20.3 points and 5 rebounds per game, had turned down Houston’s offer of a two-year, $45.2 million maximum contract extension, the highest amount the Rockets could offer the guard before the end of the regular season, according to ESPN‘s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Heat Stars Jimmy Butler & Bam Adebayo Revealed Their Thoughts on Miami’s Newest Additions
The Heat had an extremely successful trade deadline day, acquiring Oladipo without giving up their core young talent, while also obtaining Nemanja Bjelica, it’s not just the fans excited about their roster shakeup, Miami stars Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo are pumped.
Adebayo said after the Heat’s loss to the Charlotte Hornets on March 26, “Vic’s another playmaker, another shot creator so that’s good for us. Belly’s another spacer, can put the ball on the floor a little bit. Feel like they’ll fit in. Feel like they have the mentality, the attitude to come in here and contribute.”
Five-time All-Star Jimmy Butler told the media of the new additions on Friday night, “I think both of those guys help us in a numerous amount of ways. Can’t wait for them to get here to introduce them to the squad, the culture, to get this team back on track. We got a lot of basketball left to play.”
Oladipo Already Has Roots in Miami
According to Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson, the Heat is where Oladipo has wanted to be all along. The Indiana alum has roots in South Beach. He’s part-owner of a gym in Miami where he rehabbed throughout the Orlando bubble, and considered Heat legend Dwyane Wade as both a mentor and friend.
The former second-overall draft pick was looking for a long-term contract, sources told Wojnarowski and it made all the sense for the Rockets to trade Oladipo before the deadline. If they waited until he became a free agent, Houston would’ve lost him for nothing over the summer.