2021 Free Agency
Reports: Victor Oladipo reaches deal to stay in Miami
Heat reportedly retain the former Kia Most Improved Player Award winner.
From NBA.com News Services
Former All-Star swingman Victor Oladipo will get another chance to show the Heat what he can do. Per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Oladipo and the Heat have agreed to a deal. The terms of the deal, however, are currently unknown.
Oladipo will eye 2022 free agency to return to the market and sign a big contract once he's fully healthy. Miami will retain Oladipo's Bird Rights, allowing them to find the means to sign him again next offseason. https://t.co/IRPUndKXgj
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 4, 2021
Victor Oladipo back with Heat. Changes complexion of off-season. Not expected in action likely until mid season if then. But a needed dynamic weapon if healthy.
— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) August 4, 2021
The Heat landed Oladipo last season in a trade with the Houston Rockets, but he appeared in just four games in Miami. He had long wanted to play for the Heat but needed surgery on his right quadriceps tendon in early May.
Miami has hardly held steady with its roster in the offseason, agreeing to deals with several big names in the free-agent pool. Most notably, Miami worked out a reported sign-and-trade deal for former All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry and came to terms on an extension with its star swingman, Jimmy Butler. The Heat also gave out a five-year extension to 3-point shooter Duncan Robinson and have an agreements in place with veterans P.J. Tucker and Markieff Morris.
Prior to joining Miami, the 29-year-old Oladipo played nine games for Indiana and 20 games for Houston in 2020-21.
He won’t be ready for the start of next season and it’s still unclear when he could play again. Having surgery in May means a return isn’t likely until November at the earliest. He passed on a $45 million, two-year extension from Houston and enters free agency with the market unclear, given the uncertainty on when he’ll play again.
In his prime, Oladipo was an elite two-way player, most notably with the Indiana Pacers. He was the Kia Most Improved Player in 2017-18 after logging 23.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists and a league-leading 2.4 steals per game. He followed that up with 18.8 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 5.2 apg and 1.7 spg in garnering his second of two straight All-Star nods.
However, he suffered a gruesome right knee injury in January of 2019 that kept him out of the Pacers’ lineup for 12 months. He eventually returned to play in 19 games for the Pacers in 2019-20 and four of their five playoff games against the Heat in the first round of the 2020 playoffs. Indiana lost that series and shortly thereafter, chatter began to grow that Oladipo was seeking a move to Miami.
Oladipo is also close with Miami legend Dwayne Wade — Oladipo played at Indiana for Tom Crean, Wade’s coach at Marquette — providing one of a handful of ties Oladipo and the Heat have.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.