Southeast Notes: Oladipo, Beal, Avdija, Hornets, Magic

Former All-Star Victor Oladipo wasn’t a regular part of the Heat‘s rotation down the stretch and was a DNP-CD in the team’s Game 1 win over Milwaukee on Sunday. However, with Tyler Herro unavailable, Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald wonders whether the club will turn back to Oladipo.

The Heat’s front office doesn’t tell head coach Erik Spoelstra who or who not to play, but Spoelstra’s rotation decision on Oladipo could have a real impact on the guard’s own player option decision in the offseason, Jackson points out. The 30-year-old holds a $9.45MM option for 2023/24.

If Oladipo exercises his option, the Heat’s team salary projects to be well above the luxury tax line, which may reduce their flexibility due to new CBA rules aimed at teams above one or both tax aprons. If Oladipo opts out, Miami would likely still be a taxpayer, but would be in better position to sneak below those aprons.

Based on his role and production this season, Oladipo seems unlikely to decline his option and hit the open market, but if he’s inserted into the rotation and plays well, perhaps that would change, Jackson writes. Jackson also suggests that remaining on the bench even after Herro’s injury could make Oladipo unhappy enough to opt out in search of a new situation, but that seems unlikely, since it would almost certainly mean taking a pay cut.

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • One of the fans involved in a postgame altercation with Bradley Beal in Orlando last month has filed a lawsuit against the Wizards guard, alleging battery and assault and seeking damages exceeding $50,000, reports David Purdum of We provided more details on that incident in a pair of previous stories.
  • Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington explores what lies ahead this offseason for Wizards forward Deni Avdija, who will be extension-eligible and who plans to work out with teammate Kristaps Porzingis. “I think it needs to be more consistent,” Avdija said of his priorities going forward. “I showed how I can help the team in a variety of ways, but also on bad nights I need to find a way to get back into the game.”
  • In a mailbag for The Charlotte Observer, Roderick Boone tackles a number of Hornets-related topics, including Miles Bridges‘ ongoing free agency, LaMelo Ball‘s ankle recovery, and whether or not James Bouknight has a future with the team.
  • The Magic have hired Arnie Kander as a vice president of player performance and wellness, the team announced in a press release. Kander was with the Pistons from 1992-2015, serving as the franchise’s first strength and conditioning coach. He subsequently spent a season with the Timberwolves as VP of sports performance, then consulted for the Pistons and Cavaliers.
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