Victor Oladipo

Victor Oladipo Won’t Be In Camp With Thunder

Veteran guard Victor Oladipo, who was traded to the Thunder this offseason, won’t be in training camp with the team, general manager Sam Presti told reporters on Wednesday, per Brandon Rahbar of Daily Thunder (Twitter link). According to Rahbar, Presti said that the Thunder will soon have to make a decision on Oladipo’s contract.

“VO is great. He’s been through a lot,” Presti said. “He’ll be back this season at some point. But with our roster situation, we can’t prioritize that. But we’re big fans of Victor.”

Oklahoma City acquired Oladipo from the Heat in July along with a pair of second-round picks. It was a cost-cutting move for Miami after the 31-year-old picked up his $9.45MM player option for the 2023/24 season.

Oladipo has had his career derailed in recent years by a series of leg injuries. The latest one occurred in the spring, as he tore the patellar tendon in his left knee early in the postseason.

While Presti indicated today that he expects Oladipo to return to action at some point this season, he presumably won’t be ready for opening night. And even when he has been healthy enough to play in recent years, the two-time All-Star has struggled to regain his old form.

In his prime, Oladipo was a talented scorer and a lockdown perimeter defender. However, he hasn’t been able to stay on the court for a full season since 2017/18. Last year, in 42 games for the Heat, he averaged 10.7 points, 3.5 assists, and 2.7 rebounds in 26.3 minutes per night, with a shooting line of .397/.330/.747.

The Thunder have a roster crunch this fall, with 15 players on guaranteed contracts and three more (Isaiah Joe, Aaron Wiggins, and Jack White) who have a legitimate shot to make the club’s 15-man regular season roster. Oklahoma City will have to trade or waive at least three players before opening night, and Oladipo looks like a good bet to be one of the odd men out. If OKC is unable to find a taker for his expiring contract, he could be waived before the regular season begins.

Northwest Notes: Yurtseven, Edwards, Thunder, Simons

Omer Yurtseven tells Semih Tuna of Eurohoops that he received interest from two Turkish teams before deciding to sign with the Jazz last month. The 25-year-old center, who spent his first two seasons with Miami, said he wants to try to establish himself in the NBA before giving consideration to playing in his native country.

Fenerbahce and Anadolu Efes were interested,” Yurtseven said. “Fenerbahce is my home, and I also love Erdem Can, my former coach, but even if I wanted to come here towards the end of my career, now is not the time.”

Yurtseven, who is spending this summer with the Turkish national team, became an unrestricted free agent when the Heat opted not to give him a qualifying offer. He had a promising rookie year, but was limited to nine games last season after undergoing ankle surgery. He’s happy to get a chance to start over in Utah.

Having coach Will Hardy at Utah Jazz, playing with Europeans in significant positions, and being a young team, I couldn’t see any negatives, so it was an easy choice among my top three preferences,” Yurtseven said.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Anthony Edwards believes the Timberwolves would been much better if not for a calf injury that forced Karl-Anthony Towns to miss most of the season, per Sam Yip of HoopsHype. “I think if we get KAT for a whole season, we’ll be all right,” Edwards said. He added that the trade for Mike Conley in February brought a much-needed veteran presence to the team and expressed delight that Minnesota was able to reach an extension with Naz Reid.
  • In a mailbag column, Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman projects the Thunder‘s 15-man roster for opening night. Mussatto expects Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Jack White, TyTy Washington and Victor Oladipo to all be waived at some point.
  • Anfernee Simons expressed support for Trail Blazers teammate Damian Lillard to Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian (Twitter link). Asked what it would be like to lose his mentor in a potential trade, Simons responded, “A lot of people ask me that question all the time, obviously, like what’s going on with Dame. I say, ‘They say he asked for a trade, he asked for a trade.’ That was it. Obviously, me and Dame have a close relationship. I’m always going to support him no matter what.”

Western Notes: Jackson, Smart, Hughes, Pokusevski, Thunder

Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr., the NBA’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year, says he’s excited to team up with Marcus Smart, who won the award in 2022, writes Jerry Jiang of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. Smart was acquired from the Celtics last month in a three-team trade, and Jackson reached out to him when the news broke.

That doesn’t happen pretty often or ever,” Jackson said, referring to a team having two DPOY winners at the same time. “I just know what he brings to Boston. I’ve seen it before I was in the league and it’s crazy.”

Here’s more from the West:

  • The Mavericks intend to hire Eric Hughes as an assistant coach, sources tell Tim MacMahon of ESPN (Twitter link). Hughes got his NBA start as an assistant with Toronto and previously worked under head coach Jason Kidd with the Nets and Bucks, MacMahon notes. He has been with the Sixers for the past four seasons.
  • Thunder big man Aleksej Pokusevski won’t be able to represent his native Serbia in the FIBA World Cup next month, according to The 17th pick of the 2020 draft, Pokusevski suffered a broken arm during an offseason workout at the end of May and won’t receive medical clearance to train with a basketball until late August, the report states. The World Cup starts August 25 and runs through September 10. The 21-year-old was hoping to secure a spot on the Serbian national team’s 12-man roster.
  • In a mailbag for The Oklahoman, Joe Mussatto predicts that Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Victor Oladipo, Jack White, Usman Garuba and TyTy Washington are the the most likely players to be on the chopping block due to the Thunder‘s roster crunch. However, Mussatto notes that OKC has a few months to figure things out and more trades could be in order rather than outright waiving all five players.

Thunder Notes: Holmgren, Mann, Williams, Presti

No matter what else happened for the Thunder, the highlight of Summer League was seeing Chet Holmgren back on the court, writes Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman. After missing all of last season with a Lisfranc injury to his right foot, the No. 2 pick in the 2022 draft showed off his potential in Salt Lake City and Las Vegas, averaging 16.5 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists in four games.

While he looked rusty in some areas, such as committing 15 turnovers and shooting 1-of-9 from three-point range, Mussatto notes that the most encouraging part of Holmgren’s game was watching him protect the basket. He averaged 3.5 blocks per game and used his 7’1″ frame to alter numerous other shots.

“Conditioning wise, there’s millions of hurdles you have to go through in the process of returning to play,” Holmgren said after his Summer League return. “Not being able to play a game for a year, it’s really hard to test and see where you are. … It’s definitely something I have to continue to work on, and I’ll be ready by the time training camp starts. I feel like I’ll have myself prepared to be in in-season shape.”

There’s more on the Thunder:

  • Tre Mann was shut down in Las Vegas due to an avulsion fracture in his right middle finger, but it’s not believed to be a long-term concern, Mussatto adds. The Thunder expect the backup point guard to resume basketball activities by the end of July.
  • The selection of Jaylin Williams in the second round of last year’s draft will allow Holmgren to spend more time at power forward and avoid the physical contact that comes with playing center, notes Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Williams is a rugged 6’10” big man who led the NBA in drawing charges last season and shot 40.7% from beyond the arc. “It’s good because it allows my length to be found in the game in different ways,” Holmgren said of playing alongside Williams. “When he’s at the five, he’s in (screen) coverage more, and I’m able to kind of move around and roam the court a little more on defense, be the low man in help and be able to come over for blocks if somebody gets beat or use my length in the passing lanes and as an on-ball defender.”
  • General manager Sam Presti didn’t add anyone this summer who projects as a long-term keeper, Slater observes in the same piece. Presti opted to use his cap room to collect more draft assets while taking on the contracts of Davis Bertans, Victor Oladipo and Rudy Gay. Slater views Oladipo and Gay as buyout options, while Bertans may reach that status eventually with just $5MM guaranteed for 2024/25. Presti also traded for former first-round picks Usman Garuba and TyTy Washington, but Slater doubts that they’ll see much playing time considering the talent that’s already in place.

Heat Trade Victor Oladipo To Thunder

JULY 6: The Heat have officially traded Oladipo to the Thunder along with Miami’s own second-round picks in 2029 and 2030, the team announced (via Twitter). According to the Thunder’s own press release, Miami acquired cash in the deal.

JUNE 30: The Heat are offloading reserve shooting guard Victor Oladipo to the Thunder, sources inform Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

The Thunder will receive a pair of second-round picks from the Heat as part of the trade agreement, tweets Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel.

The Heat, meanwhile, will net a $9.45MM trade exception by flipping his salary. Miami also still has a $4.7MM trade exception from its February deal of big man Dewayne Dedmon.

Earlier this week, the injury-plagued former All-Star picked up his player option for the 2023/24 season. Oladipo tore his left knee patellar tendon during Miami’s first round matchup against the Bucks.

As Bobby Marks of ESPN details (via Twitter), the Thunder will absorb Oladipo’s salary into its available cap space. After the deal, Oklahoma City should still have an estimated $7.2MM in available money at its disposal, as well as the $7.8MM room exception. The club currently has 16 players under contract, and will need to make more moves to reduce its head count to 15 for its standard roster this fall.

With 11 players currently signed, meanwhile, the Heat now have $172MM in committed salary. While Miami is in the luxury tax, this move shifts the team $6.5MM beneath the highly punitive second tax apron. As Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype (Twitter link) notes, the team is in better position to use its $5MM taxpayer mid-level exception, but still may have to shed a little salary to do so.

Should the 31-year-old Oladipo remain with the Thunder, it would represent his second tour of duty with the team. After being drafted by the Magic with the second overall pick out of Indiana in 2013, he spent three seasons with Orlando before being dealt to Oklahoma City in 2016. The Thunder flipped him to the Pacers as part of the Paul George trade the following summer. With the Pacers, Oladipo blossomed into a two-time All-Star thanks to a versatile scoring touch and stellar perimeter defense.

His major lower body injury issues first began to plague him in Indiana, and he has since been trying to find his footing as a defense-first role player with the Rockets and Heat. During his 42 healthy regular season contests with Miami in 2022/23, the 6’4″ vet averaged 10.7 PPG, 3.5 APG, 3.0 RPG and 1.4 SPG in 26.3 MPG, mostly off the Heat bench.

Heat Decide Against Using Stretch Provision On Kyle Lowry

JUNE 28: The Heat have decided against using the stretch provision on Lowry, according to Jackson.

The team will look to use Lowry’s expiring contract in a trade this offseason for Lillard or another player, but if no deal emerges, Miami is comfortable beginning the season with the veteran guard on its roster and revisiting trade scenarios during the season, says Jackson.

JUNE 27: The Heat have been considering the possibility of waiving and stretching the final year of Kyle Lowry‘s contract if they’re unable to find a suitable trade involving the veteran point guard, two sources tell Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald.

Lowry will earn approximately $29.7MM in the last season of his three-year contract with the Heat. That expiring salary could be useful for matching purposes if Miami makes a trade for a player like Damian Lillard.

However, if the team doesn’t make any major deals and wants to re-sign Gabe Vincent and/or Max Strus, its salary projects to be far beyond the luxury tax line, meaning that waiving and stretching Lowry would generate substantial savings.

Using the stretch provision on Lowry would spread his cap hit across three seasons, with charges of approximately $9.9MM per year. As Jackson outlines, going that route would reduce Miami’s salary commitments for 2023/24 from about $178.5MM to $158.5MM, moving the team at least temporarily out of tax territory and well below both tax aprons.

In that scenario, the Heat would probably surpass the tax line ($165MM) again by re-signing Vincent, but would be on the hook for a much smaller bill and could stay below the restrictive second tax apron ($179.5MM).

Besides potentially being a useful salary-matching trade chip, Lowry also still has some value on the court, having averaged 11.2 PPG, 5.1 APG, and 4.1 RPG in 55 regular season games (31.2 MPG) last season. So Miami is unlikely to waive him early in the offseason simply to save some money, especially when stretching his salary would add nearly $10MM in new money to the club’s books in both 2024/25 and ’25/26.

Still, Jackson’s report suggests the stretch provision is an option the Heat aren’t ruling out, and it’s worth noting there’s no rush to make a decision immediately — Lowry’s contract could be stretched anytime before September 1.

Victor Oladipo, who will likely exercise his $9.45MM player option this week, is another potential waive-and-stretch candidate for the Heat, Jackson notes.

Heat’s Victor Oladipo Exercises Player Option

Heat guard Victor Oladipo has exercised his $9.45MM option, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets.

The move was expected and makes complete financial sense for Oladipo, who tore the patellar tendon in his left knee early in the postseason.

Oladipo inked a two-year, $18.2MM deal with Miami last summer, which included the player option. Oladipo’s contract decision adds another burden to the Heat’s bloated salary cap.

If all goes well in his rehab, he could be back in action early next season.

Oladipo has been snake-bit by major injuries during his career. He ruptured the quadriceps tendon in his right knee during the 2018/19 season while still with the Pacers, then underwent a second operation on the quad late in the 2020/21 season while with the Heat.

Across his 42 healthy games during the 2022/23 regular season, the former two-time All-Star averaged 10.7 PPG on .397/.330/.747 shooting, along with 3.5 APG and 3.0 RPG.

Oladipo is now on track for unrestricted free agency in 2024.

Heat Notes: Lillard, Herro, Beal, Draft, Riley

With Bradley Beal off the trade market, the Heat are shifting their focus to Damian Lillard and believe they have a real chance to acquire the Trail Blazers star, Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald writes, confirming previous reporting from Chris Haynes.

In his latest story for The Herald, Jackson looks at potential packages the Heat could offer for Lillard if he becomes available, noting that the deal would likely start with two players out of the trio of Tyler Herro, Kyle Lowry, and Duncan Robinson. Miami’s proposal could include up to three first-round picks, including this year’s No. 18 selection.

As Jackson observes, if the Heat want to preserve their draft assets, they could put forth a more player-centric offer headed by Herro, Caleb Martin, Nikola Jovic, and Victor Oladipo‘s expiring contract, with perhaps just one or two picks included.

If Miami makes a deal for Lillard, Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald writes in a separate story, it likely won’t occur until July, when the new CBA will be in effect and the Heat will only be able to take back up to 110% of their outgoing salary in a trade instead of 125%. While Lillard could be traded in June before the new CBA begins, including Herro in an offer would probably require Miami to wait until next month, since his rookie scale extension will begin in July, increasing his outgoing trade value from $5.7MM to $27MM.

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • Having previously reported that Beal would have been willing to waive his no-trade clause to join the Heat, Jackson provides more information, tweeting that two sources close to Beal said the guard would approved a move to either Miami or Phoenix. As Jackson explains (via Twitter), the Wizards simply preferred the Suns‘ offer to the Heat’s, in large part because Miami’s offer – believed to be built around Lowry and Robinson – featured nearly twice as much guaranteed money.
  • Heat assistant general manager Adam Simon spoke to Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel about the extensive work the team has done to prepare to make the No. 18 pick in this Thursday’s draft, despite the fact that the selection could end up being used in a trade.
  • Heat president Pat Riley will hold an end-of-season press conference and speak to reporters on Tuesday, tweets Jackson. Of course, he won’t be able to talk about any players under contracts with other teams, such as Beal or Lillard.

Latest On Bradley Beal

Heat officials engaged in multiple conversations with representatives for Wizards guard Bradley Beal as they tried to work out a trade, sources tell Anthony Chiang and Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Beal hasn’t asked to be dealt, but he’s willing to be moved to “more than a handful of teams,” according to the authors. The fact that Miami is in position to compete for a title is important to Beal, Chiang and Jackson add.

The Heat and Suns are considered the leading contenders to land Beal as talks intensified on Saturday. The Wizards are reportedly motivated to get a deal done quickly so another star player such as Damian Lillard doesn’t become available and reduce their leverage. Washington is also believed to be seeking a trade that doesn’t involve taking on long-term salary.

Miami’s offer reportedly includes Kyle Lowry‘s $29.7MM expiring contract, along with either Duncan Robinson or Victor Oladipo to help match salary. The Heat would prefer to move Robinson because he has a larger contract, which would help reduce the team’s projected tax bill for 2024/25 and 2025/26, according to Chiang and Jackson. Miami will also include at least one first-round pick in the deal, the authors add.

Currently, the Heat can offer the No. 18 choice in this year’s draft, along with a first-rounder in either 2028 or 2029. Chiang and Jackson point out that if the deal isn’t completed until after July 1, Miami would be able to include its first-round selection in 2030.

There’s more on the Beal trade talks:

  • There are some important dates to consider in any potential Heat trade involving Beal or Lillard, tweets Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. Oladipo has to pick up his player option for 2023/24 before he can be included. That’s likely a formality considering the serious knee injury he suffered in the playoffs, but he has until June 29 to make it official. If Tyler Herro is involved, there’s a poison pill restriction in his contract that doesn’t expire until July 1. Until then, his salary will be considered $5.7MM for outgoing matching purposes, rather than the $27MM he will make when his extension begins next season. Also, Lillard is ineligible to be traded until July 9.
  • Beal’s ability to play off the ball would make him an easy fit alongside Kevin Durant and Devin Booker in Phoenix, observes Gerald Bourguet of PHNX Sports. However, the three players’ combined salaries would start at $131MM next season and would reach $163MM by 2025/26. That would leave the Suns, who are already lacking in depth, with few options to build a roster without being subject to the harshest provisions of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
  • At least one rival team is skeptical that the Heat are serious about acquiring Beal, tweets John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. Gambadoro also hears that the Bucks have interest in Beal, but much of their draft capital over the next four years already belongs to the Pelicans (Twitter link).

Southeast Notes: Kuzma, Beal, Oladipo, Snyder, Hornets

As the Bradley Beal trade rumors percolate, Ian Begley of says some people within the Wizards organization “voiced concerns” last season about the fit between Beal and forward Kyle Kuzma. While Begley acknowledges that the team has revamped its front office and may view things differently now, it appears increasingly unlikely that Beal and Kuzma will play together next season, with one on the trade block and one headed for free agency.

Meanwhile, David Aldridge and Josh Robbins of The Athletic weighed in on the latest Beal trade rumors, taking a closer look at the Wizards’ talks with the Suns and Heat. According to The Athletic’s duo, Washington would have interest in acquiring Tyler Herro in a deal with Miami, but the Heat are instead offering Duncan Robinson (along with Kyle Lowry and multiple first-round picks).

Despite rumors indicating that Chris Paul – and not Deandre Ayton – would need to be included in the Suns’ offer for Beal in order to satisfy all parties, Aldridge and Robbins suggest that Ayton could still be the centerpiece of Phoenix’s offer.

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • Heat guard Victor Oladipo is accusing his business manager of taking money from his bank accounts to buy a condo in Florida and a strip club in New York City, per Justin Rohrlich of The Daily Beast. Oladipo has filed suit in New York against James B. Henderson for stealing at least $1.3MM. Oladipo filed a separate lawsuit last year in Florida’s Orange County Circuit Court.
  • While some observers believed that Quin Snyder wouldn’t have joined the Hawks unless he was given ultimate control of the roster, he adamantly denies that’s the case, according to Jeff Schultz of The Athletic. “The only role (general manager) Landry (Fields) and (assistant GM) Kyle (Korver) and I talked about when I agreed to come to Atlanta is me coaching the team,” Snyder said. “That’s what I like and it’s also what I’m passionate about. Any speculation about me having a more significant role than providing input on personnel decisions is just not accurate. I have total confidence in Landry and his group to make those decisions. As I see it, my job is to maximize the potential of the personnel, whatever the personnel is. That’s where my focus lies. That speculation is erroneous.”
  • A number of draft experts expect the Hornets to select Brandon Miller at No. 2 in next Thursday’s draft, but Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer makes a case for Scoot Henderson to be the pick. The guard’s stock has been on the rise as of late, Boone writes, with rumors circulating that teams want to trade up for Henderson, not Miller.

Arthur Hill contributed to this post.