While the Miami Heat missed out on obtaining James Harden, they’ve long had their eye on the Houston Rockets’ newest All-Star Victor Oladipo. According to the latest reports, the 28-year-old guard will soon be bringing his talents to South Beach.
On February 28, The Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Keith Pompey reported:
“Some around the league think Victor Oladipo could be a candidate to sign a contract with the Miami Heat during the upcoming free-agency period. So one has to imagine that the Rockets will look to move the two-time All-Star they acquired in a four-team deal that sent James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets.”
Oladipo’s contract expires at the end of the season, so in a perfect world, the Rockets would move the former first-round pick before the trade deadline on March 25, and obtain a player to help Houston become a true contender for the Western Conference title — all while being fully prepared to lose that new addition after their season ends.
However, the Rockets are 11-20 and have the third-worst record in the entire league, a contending team they are not. But the Sixers, who are in first place in the Eastern Conference with a 22-11 record, could absolutely benefit from having Oladipo join them for their post-season push.
Oladipo is having a solid season thus far, averaging 19.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.6 assists, and 1.4 steals. During the Rockets 122-111 loss to the Toronto Raptors on February 26, Oladipo scored 27 points, five rebounds, four assists, and two steals while making 4 of 10 three-pointers.
The Heat Would Obtain Oladipo After Being Traded the Sixers
Pompey reports that “Houston would probably want some young talent or draft picks in return for Oladipo, who is making $21 million. The Sixers’ Danny Green, as the highest salaried player with an expiring contract, would probably have to be included in the deal along with young talent. Green is on the books for $15.3 million.”
There is some risk involved, as Pompey notes, as “it’s hard to justify giving up a promising young player in exchange for a guy who could part ways in a couple of months. As a result, the Sixers would want to get a sense that Oladipo is willing to stay beyond this season and at what price before making that deal.”
While this trade wouldn’t be ideal for most players, Oladipo could play with a contending team before ultimately landing where he’s wanted to be all along. Oladipo 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 Heat Have Been Linked to 9 Free Agent Options
Name an available forward becoming available, and there’s likely a report linking them to the Heat. The franchise is trying to avoid the embarrassment that is coming off an NBA Finals run only and to miss out on the playoffs entirely the following season.
Miami have their eyes on more than a few players around the league. Big names tossed around thus far include the following:
Detroit Pistons Blake Griffin
Sacramento Kings Nemanja Bjelica
San Antonio Spurs Rudy Gay
Cleveland Cavaliers Andre Drummond
Atlanta Hawks John Collins