Victor Oladipo, who recently signed a one-year, minimum-salary contract to stay with the Heat, could be the key that unlocks Miami’s future, writes Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
As Winderman details, because the Heat hold Oladipo’s Bird Rights, they can’t trade him this season without his consent, but they also can re-sign him next year without requiring cap space. Given the lack of star power on the 2022 free agency market, if Olapido is able to recover from his quad injury, that could be a bet that pays off in a big way, as his defense, slashing, and shooting ability fits perfectly alongside stars Jimmy Butler, Kyle Lowry and Bam Adebayo.
Oladipo returning to form would also lessen the burden on offense-only players like Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herro, Winderman writes, while insulating them to form a smothering defensive unit even with their presence.
We have more news from the Heat:
- In a separate article, Winderman addresses the idea of a KZ Okpala extension, saying it’s “not even close to a factor,” while also rejecting the idea of giving Okpala extended time in the G League. Because Okpala is on the last year of his contract, Winderman writes, the Heat could easily be giving him those development reps for the benefit of another team.
- Winderman also addresses the question of whether Summer League breakout star Omer Yurtseven could be a better prospect – and end up a better pro – than the recently-traded Precious Achiuwa. He writes that while Yurtseven has the potential, it’s unlikely he finds the playing time, as the Heat have Adebayo, Dewayne Dedmon, P.J. Tucker and even Markieff Morris blocking his way, whereas Achiuwa will be part of a more limited rotation with the Raptors.
- The Heat have announced that all employees must have their first vaccination dose by September 1, aside from those with qualifying religious or medical exceptions, tweets Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. “Employees who are not fully vaccinated, or have not submitted a formal request for an accommodation that has been granted or is still in the evaluation process by the next phase of our return to work will be deemed to have resigned,” the Heat said in their statement (Twitter link via Chiang).