“Heat trades for Oladipo, who has long had interest in playing in Miami,” the Miami Herald’s Anthony Chiang tweeted. In exchange for Oladipo, Miami is sending over Kelly Olynyk, Avery Bradley, and agreed to swamp draft picks, according to the Sun Sentinel‘s Ira Winderman.
Rumors linking the 28-year-old guard 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 the deadline.
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Oldaipo, who’s averaging 20.3 points and 5 rebounds per game, already 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.
In addition to acquiring Oladipo, Miami made a trade to obtain Sacemrento Kings’ Nemanja Bjelica on Thursday. In exchange for the 6-foot-11 Serbian star, the Heat sent over Moe Harkless and Chris Silva.
Oladipo Already Has Roots in Miami
If Miami wasn’t able to acquire Oladipo before the deadline, all hope was not lost. The Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Keith Pompey reported on February 28, “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,” and that “Houston would probably want some young talent or draft picks in return for Oladipo,” for which the Heat is flush.
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.
Kyle Lowry Is Staying With the Toronto Raptors
Before news about Oladipo’s trade was announced, most Heat fans were expecting the news of a blockbuster trade deal for Toronto Raptors’ veteran Kyle Lowry.
At 10:15 a.m. ET, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst revealed that Miami offered up star forward Duncan Robinson in a trade for Lowry. While there are other Heat players that will also be sent to Toronto in this deal, it’s notable that the centerpiece of the offer is Robinson, and not NBA sophomore, Tyler Herro.
However, it appears that Miami drew a hard line at giving up Herro and after weeks of trade talks and rumors, no deal came to fruition.