What version of Victor Oladipo is the Miami Heat getting?
What version of Victor Oladipo is the Miami Heat getting? That’s going to determine whether or not Oladipo will help the Heat down the stretch in a playoff series, and if the Heat will offer him a deal after this season with Oladipo heading into free agency.
Are they going to get the pre-injury Indiana Oladipo or the most recent injured-riddled version of himself?
Oladipo still has yet to suit up with the Heat after being dealt from Houston at the deadline. Unfortunately for Miami the question of, “What version of Victor Oladipo are you getting,” is starting with him being ruled out of Monday’s game against the New York Knicks due to a head cold.
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If you’re Miami, you’ve got to be a little frustrated at your luck after acquiring what they hope to be their third or fourth option on offense and having them already missing games due to illness or injury.
At the same time, let’s give it up to Miami for standing their ground and not giving up any long-term assets to acquire a former all-star at the deadline while taking advantage of the abysmal market for Victor Oladipo.
It’s the classic “buy-low” trade. Miami took advantage of Oladipo’s struggles this season and took a flyer on him without having to give up their two assets rumored in every Miami trade during the deadline, Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson.
When the details of the trade came out, my initial reaction was, “That’s all Houston got for Oladipo?” No disrespect to Avery Bradley and Kelly Olynyk but both those guys at this point in their careers are expendable. Bradley is an undersized guard who’s not exactly offensive-minded and seems like a weird fit for a rebuilding team, which of course the Houston Rockets are.
Olynyk is a nice player who was in Miami’s closing group but, both guys combined still aren’t worth Oladipo even in a down year.
Here’s the case for Oladipo. He’s at 20 points, five assists, and five rebounds a game this season for a struggling Rockets team, and mix that with being in and out of the lineup with injuries. At his peak, we’ve seen him at 23 points, five assists, and five rebounds a game during that 2017-18 season in Indiana.
We know about the injuries, but the pros are, he’s super athletic, he’s played in the playoffs as the sixth man in OKC and as “THE MAN” in Indiana, his teammates love him, and lastly he’s an above-average player on a team that when healthy, can make a run in the playoffs.
You can do a lot worse than Victor Oladipo as your third or fourth option. Not to mention one more wrinkle, “Heat Culture.” One of the redeeming qualities of Victor Oladipo is how hard he works. Which would seem like a perfect fit for how the Miami Heat operates.
The case for Miami as a whole, their roster, their experience, and the other playoff teams in the east. After a slow start, the Heat find themselves at the eighth seed and a 23-24 overall record. They’re obviously not where they want to be, but other than the top 3 seeds (Sixers, Nets, and Bucks), seeds 4-8 can be up for grabs in the East.
The 4-seeded Knicks are on a short little win streak and are playing better than people anticipated, but with Randle coming off an injury, and a significant injury to Mitchell Robinson, I don’t think it’s crazy to think they’re going to drop a few games in the coming weeks.
The fifth-seeded hornets, arguably the most fun team to watch, lost rookie of the year candidate LaMelo Ball for the rest of the season with an apparent wrist injury. The sixth-seeded Hawks who after going on an eight-game win streak have lost three of their last four and have a matchup with second-seeded (in the Western Conference) Phoenix Suns on Tuesday, their spot is open too.
Boston at the seventh-seed feels out of place, but they’ve been a strange team all year, who knows with them? The point being, there’s plenty of worlds in which Miami slides up the ranks in the Eastern Conference.