Victor Oladipo

Heat To Re-Sign Victor Oladipo, Dewayne Dedmon

The Heat have reached agreements with a pair of their own free agents. Veteran guard Victor Oladipo is signing a one-year, $11MM contract to remain in Miami, while center Dewayne Dedmon has agreed to a two-year, $9MM pact, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter links).

Miami had Oladipo’s Bird rights and Dedmon’s Early Bird rights, so the team won’t have to use its mid-level or bi-annual exception to complete the deals.

A two-time All-Star, Oladipo has appeared in just 60 regular season games since the start of the 2019/20 season due to a series of injuries related to his quad.

He missed most of the ’21/22 campaign while recovering from a surgery, but showed flashes of his old self down the stretch, averaging 12.4 PPG and 3.5 APG on .479/.417/.737 shooting in eight games (21.6 MPG). The former All-Defensive First Teamer also exhibited his old versatility on defense.

A report earlier this week stated that Oladipo was considered unlikely to remain with the Heat, but the two sides ultimately worked out an agreement. It’s possible the club increased its efforts to re-sign Oladipo as a result of losing P.J. Tucker to Philadelphia; it’s also possible Oladipo didn’t get the kind of offers he sought on the open market. Of course, that earlier report may have just been erroneous. In any case, the 30-year-old is on track to return to Miami for another season.

Dedmon will once again slot into the Heat’s depth chart as a backup at the five. The nine-year veteran, who will turn 33 next month averaged 6.3 PPG and 5.8 RPG in 67 games (15.9 MPG) this past season.

Free Agent Rumors: Brunson, Oladipo, Ingles, Rockets

Jalen Brunson appears ready to leave the Mavericks and sign with the Knicks for a reported $110MM over four years, but money may not be the only factor, writes Tim Cato of The Athletic. Sources tell Cato that Brunson might not be willing to re-sign with the Mavs even if they agree to match New York’s offer, which has led to pessimism in Dallas about keeping the 25-year-old guard.

Cato adds that as of Tuesday, there’s no indication that the Mavericks are considering making a larger offer to Brunson.

In the same story, Cato examines Dallas’ system for evaluating how much players are worth and explains why the team decided not to offer Brunson a four-year, $55MM extension last summer.

There’s more on the free agent market:

  • The Kings are expected to be one of the teams reaching out to Victor Oladipo, according to Ian Begley of Injuries limited Oladipo to eight games during the regular season, but he was part of the rotation during the Heat’s playoff run. Oladipo is looking for a starting position and a salary in the $10MM range, tweets John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7.
  • The Grizzlies are interested in Joe Ingles, Begley adds in the same piece. Ingles is rehabbing after his season was ended by a torn ACL in late January.
  • Rumors have linked the Rockets to several centers in free agency, but Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle isn’t convinced that it’s a position of need. Second-year center Alperen Sengun is projected to be the starter and the team plans to use a small-ball approach, with no traditional center, for eight to 10 minutes per game. Feigen notes that the Rockets want to be careful with their cap space beyond this season and suggests they may not make a large offer to a free agent this year.

Free Agency Rumors: Monk, Oladipo, McGee, Mills, Hartenstein

On a Spotify Live appearance with Marc Stein, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report said he has heard there’s mutual interest between the Kings and Malik Monk in free agency (hat tip to Talkin’ NBA). Monk played college ball at Kentucky with De’Aaron Fox, so there’s obviously a connection between the two athletic guards.

Monk had a career-year in his first season with the Lakers last season, averaging 13.8 PPG, 3.4 RPG and 2.9 APG on .473/.391/.795 shooting in 76 games (37 starts, 28.1 MPG). He’s reportedly looking for a role where he can receive significant minutes and “be himself,” as he told Jovan Buha of The Athletic.

The Kings could offer Monk the mid-level exception, projected to be worth about $10.5MM next season, which is significantly more than the Lakers can offer (taxpayer MLE — $6.5MM).

Here are more rumors ahead of free agency, which kicks off in less than 17 hours:

  • Fischer also reports (hat tip to Talkin’ NBA) that in addition to Denver, Detroit and Washington, the Bulls are in the mix for Victor Oladipo. Fischer previously wrote that Oladipo was unlikely to remain with Miami.
  • John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Phoenix hears (via Twitter) that Suns backup center JaVale McGee is looking for a multiyear deal, with the Bucks, Mavericks and Nets interested in his services. Gambadoro adds that he’s unsure if Phoenix would go for a two-year deal to re-sign McGee, who was highly productive (9.2 PPG, 6.7 RPG and 1.1 BPG) in a reserve role with the Suns last season (74 games, 15.8 MPG).
  • Patty Mills is expected to draw “significant interest” on the free agent market after declining his player option, but he hasn’t ruled out a return to the Nets, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). Brian Lewis of The New York Post hears Mills and his wife enjoyed their time in Brooklyn, but it’s possible he could get a more lucrative offer elsewhere.
  • Sources tell Marc Stein (via Twitter) that Isaiah Hartenstein hasn’t ruled out a return to the Clippers, stating that it’s “well-known among rival teams” with interest in the center that he might re-sign with Los Angeles. Lewis hears similarly, with sources close to the 24-year-old telling The Post that “he loves” playing for the Clips. The main issue is the Clippers are reportedly using their taxpayer MLE to sign John Wall, so they’ll be extremely limited in what they can offer Hartenstein. Stein previously reported that the Magic are the “leading suitor” for Hartenstein, who has also been linked to the Bulls, Raptors and Rockets.

Victor Oladipo Reportedly Unlikely To Remain With Heat

Heat guard Victor Oladipo is not expected to remain with the Heat this summer, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report writes in his latest round-up of rumors from around the NBA.

According to Fischer, the Wizards, Nuggets, and Pistons are among the rival teams believed to have interest in Oladipo, who will be an unrestricted free agent.

The Heat control Oladipo’s Bird rights, so there would be no cap-related roadblocks standing in the way of bringing him back. If he leaves, it could be a signal that the two sides don’t agree on his price point — or either the team or player simply may not have interest in continuing the relationship.

A two-time All-Star, Oladipo has appeared in just 60 regular season games since the start of the 2019/20 season due to a series of injuries related to his quad. He missed most of the ’21/22 campaign while recovering from a surgery, but showed flashes of his old self down the stretch, averaging 12.4 PPG and 3.5 APG on .479/.417/.737 shooting in eight games (21.6 MPG). The former All-Defensive First Teamer also exhibited his old versatility on defense.

Given the injury questions surrounding Oladipo, he’s unlikely to get significant multiyear offers this offseason, but a raise on last season’s minimum-salary contract looks like a safe bet. Fischer suggests a deal in the neighborhood of the taxpayer mid-level exception ($6.4MM) may be realistic.

The Heat, meanwhile, will also face competition as they try to retain other key free agents like P.J. Tucker and Caleb Martin.

Heat Notes: Durant, Oladipo, Free Agency, Tampering

With Nets superstar Kevin Durant said to be losing confidence in the team’s management, the Heat could be a team to watch if he requests a trade, says Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel. As we relayed, Durant reportedly hasn’t spoken to anyone from the Nets in weeks.

Brooklyn is currently dealing with Kyrie Irving‘s uncertain situation, as Irving holds a $36.5MM player option for next season. His departure could prompt Durant to further consider his future. Miami can offer young pieces such as Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro, as well as multiple first-round picks in talks.

Should the team be forced to offload Adebayo, it would naturally have a gaping hole at center. Durant is known to be friends with P.J. Tucker, an impending free agent for Miami. He also played with Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry on Team USA in 2016.

Here are some other notes from Miami:

  • In his latest mailbag for the Miami Herald, Anthony Chiang examines how far the Heat may go to retain Victor Oladipo in free agency. The 30-year-old is coming off a postseason where he averaged 10.6 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 24.5 minutes per game, shooting 37%. He only appeared in eight regular-season games before the playoffs — one of which was a 40-point outing against the Magic.
  • Ira Winderman discusses several topics in a story for the Sun Sentinel, including how free agency tends to be trade season for the Heat. Miami acquired Butler in a sign-and-trade during the summer of 2019, then did the same with Lowry last summer.
  • In a separate article for the Sun Sentinel, Winderman explores whether the Heat’s free-agency timing could be thrown off by last year’s tampering investigation. The NBA found Miami to be guilty of “gun-jumping” when news of Lowry’s anticipated deal broke before free agency technically opened, taking away this year’s second-round pick as a result.

Heat Notes: Robinson, Adebayo, Herro, Oladipo, Haslem

Less than a year after signing a five-year, $90MM contract with the Heat, Duncan Robinson was replaced in the starting lineup by minimum-salary wing Max Strus and then fell out of the rotation completely in the second round of the postseason. As Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald relays, Robinson admitted this week that it wasn’t easy to take that role reduction in stride.

“It does not matter if you’re playing JV basketball, if you’re playing middle school basketball, if you’re playing college basketball, if you’re playing in the NBA at the highest level. Not playing, it sucks in a lot of ways,” Robinson said in the latest episode of his podcast. “Especially when you feel that you’re capable and you feel that you can help win. It’s a really, really challenging feeling to combat, especially when you’re on the cusp and in the midst of a run where your team is playing really well.”

Robinson is the Heat’s most prolific three-point shooter, making 232 threes and converting them at a 37.2% rate during the 2021/22 season. However, he’s not an especially strong defender, so if his shot isn’t falling, he sometimes struggles to have an impact on the game. Heat president of basketball operations Pat Riley believes there’s room for Robinson to raise his level on the defensive end of the court.

“Defensively as a young player, even though he’s not as young as some of the other guys, he’s got to get better,” Riley said on Monday, per Chiang. “Look, we hang our hat on that. … To me, yes Duncan can improve. That message has been delivered to him many times.”

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • While the Heat will make an effort to upgrade their roster in free agency and on the trade market this summer, they’ll also be counting on internal improvement from players like Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro, Chiang writes in another story for The Miami Herald. Riley suggested this week that he feels both Adebayo and Herro, who are just 24 and 22 respectively, still have room to grow.
  • After missing much of the 2021/22 season while recovering from quad surgery and then being incorporated slowly into the rotation, Victor Oladipo was starting to look a little more like his old self by the end of the Heat’s season. With Oladipo’s contract set to expire, Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel wonders what sort of role – and how much money – Miami will feel comfortable offering the two-time All-Star in free agency.
  • In another Sun Sentinel article, Winderman looks at the decision facing Udonis Haslem, who has no interest in becoming a coach and is weighing whether or not to play a 20th NBA season.

Heat Notes: Injuries, Butler, Herro, Oladipo, Fine

The Heat aren’t complaining about their injury situation as they prepare to host Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, writes Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press.

Jimmy Butler became the latest addition to the injured list, twisting an ankle in the latter stages of his magnificent performance Friday night in Boston. Butler, who is expected to play Sunday, is also dealing with inflammation in his right knee that forced him to miss the second half of Game 3. Kyle Lowry, Gabe Vincent and Max Strus all have hamstring issues, and Tyler Herro has missed the last three games due to a strained groin.

“This time of year, there’s nobody 100% healthy, both sides,” P.J. Tucker said. “I’m sure they got a bunch of guys, too, just trying to figure it out and give what they can. Try to win. That’s it. You can’t get these days back. It’s living in the moment, trying to just do what you can.”

There’s more from Miami:

  • The Heat are adopting a “wait and see” approach regarding Herro’s status for Game 7, tweets Nick Friedell of ESPN. Coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters that Herro will have a daytime workout on Sunday, and the medical staff will determine whether he’s able to play. Spoelstra said before Friday’s game that Herro has “made progress” with the injury, but added that sitting him out was “the most responsible decision for us,” Friedell states in a full story.
  • In an interview with Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel, ESPN’s Bobby Marks projects the value of 12 Miami players for next season as if they were all free agents. Among the most interesting is Victor Oladipo, who actually will be a free agent — Marks believes Oladipo will be worth the $10.3MM non-taxpayer mid-level exception after playing on a veteran’s minimum deal this season. The Heat have Bird rights on the two-time All-Star, so they wouldn’t need to use their MLE to re-sign him at that number, but Winderman isn’t sure that the organization is willing to offer that much.
  • The Heat were fined $25K for “violating league rules regarding team bench decorum,” the NBA announced on Twitter. The league said players stood for an extended time in the bench area, stood away from the bench and were encroaching on the court during Friday’s game.

Heat Notes: Oladipo, Robinson, Haslem, Celtics Series

Heat guard Victor Oladipo is slowly starting to regain his offensive form ahead of unrestricted free agency this summer after missing most of the season while recovering from a second surgery to repair his right quadriceps tendon last May. The 30-year-old said he plans to fine-tune his game with a healthy offseason.

I really haven’t had a summer healthy to really work on my game,” he said, per Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. “This summer I’m looking forward to fine-tuning all the stuff I’m great at, which includes [three-pointers, pull-ups, drives to the basket] and more. Transition, half-court, all the stuff that was second nature to me.”

After averaging 12.4 points, 2.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists on .479/.417/.737 shooting in eight regular season games (21.6 minutes), Oladipo is averaging 11.5 points, 3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.3 steals on .387/.313/.787 shooting through 12 postseason contests (24.8 minutes). He’s provided impressive defense to the Heat in the playoffs, but acknowledges he’s still trying to find his rhythm on the other end of the court.

Definitely [offensively], especially because I didn’t have had an opportunity to find my rhythm,” Oladipo said last week. “I can still be effective, find ways to affect the game. Even offensively, it’s more of a mind-set thing. I haven’t played a lot. I don’t have as much reps as everyone else but I can still play at a high level.”

As Jackson notes, the Heat hold Oladipo’s Bird Rights this summer, giving them the ability to go over the salary cap to re-sign him.

Here are a few more notes on Miami:

  • Duncan Robinson‘s five-year, $90MM contract with the Heat is only guaranteed for $80MM, and the $10MM discrepancy is tied to both the team’s and his own postseason performance, according to Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. If the Heat win a championship in any of his five seasons, including this one, the final $10MM in the fifth season of his contract will be guaranteed if the following criteria are met: Robinson plays at least 70 regular season games while averaging at least 25 minutes per night, and he appears in 75 percent of his team’s postseason games while averaging at least 25 minutes per contest. As Winderman observes, Robinson has met both of the regular season criteria, but is falling short in the playoffs. He’s appeared in 11 of 15 postseason games (73.33%) while averaging just 11.5 minutes.
  • Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports takes an inside look at what Udonis Haslem does behind the scenes to help the Heat win games, with the veteran emphasizing preparation as a key to success. “If they’re not prepared, I’m taking my notes on what we need to work on. For me, this is full-time job, bro. No days off. Even when it’s summer time, I’ll just take a week off and then I’m right back in the lab, in the weight room, in the gym, conditioning. My body has to stay right. That’s the most important thing for me is that my body has allowed me to be able to keep up with these guys,” Haslem said.
  • Joe Vardon of The Athletic shares 25 thoughts heading into Wednesday’s Game 5 against the Celtics, noting that health has played a major factor in the series to this point, and the Heat need a more aggressive version of Jimmy Butler and more contributions from Gabe Vincent and Max Strus if they hope to advance. In case you missed it, Miami will be without Tyler Herro again for Game 5, as he continues to deal with a strained left groin.

Eastern Notes: Williams III, Oladipo, Pistons, Magic

Celtics center Robert Williams III will likely deal with his knee injury for the rest of the playoffs, head coach Ime Udoka said, as relayed by Jay King of The Athletic. Williams missed Game 3 against Miami due to knee soreness and swelling, and the team is currently listing him as questionable for Game 4.

Williams, a defensive-minded center, averaged a career-high 10.0 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game this season, anchoring Boston’s elite defense. He underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in the knee at the end of March, then suffered a bone bruise last series.

Here are some other notes from the Eastern Conference:

Heat Notes: Tucker, Herro, Robinson, Rotation

Heat starting power forward P.J. Tucker, now 37, has been his usual pesky self on the defensive end against the Sixers, writes Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. It’s been a huge boon for Miami, which currently leads Philadelphia 2-1 in the teams’ second-round playoff series.

“P.J. does what he does,” Sixers starting small forward Danny Green said. “We don’t back down. But you’ve got to play smart. Don’t take any cheap stuff. Don’t give any cheap stuff. Be just as physical as they are. We’re going to check people, get into bodies. Let them know we’re here too. We’re here to win. It’s the type of basketball you want to see.”

Jackson noted that Tucker’s repertoire included a litany of hard screens and rugged on-ball defense. The veteran Tucker, who won a title with the Bucks last year, signed a two-year, $15MM contract with the Heat during the offseason. Should he so choose, Tucker could try to capitalize on his successful playoff performance thus far: he has a player option on the 2022/23 season.

There’s more out of South Beach:

  • Heat Sixth Man of the Year Tyler Herro lit up the Sixers across Miami’s first two games in the series, both wins, scoring 43 points on 15-of-27 shooting. In response, the Sixers have opted to consistently trap the third-year guard, an issue for which Miami must now game-plan, writes Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald. “That’s a sign of great respect, how important Tyler is to us,” Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said of the new defensive attention.
  • Miami’s $90MM man Duncan Robinson has fallen out of the club’s rotation with the ascension of Gabe Vincent, Max Strus and Victor Oladipo on the Heat depth chart. The veteran forward is striving to handle the demotion with a positive attitude, writes Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald. “It has been a challenge,” Robinson acknowledged. “But it comes with the territory. It’s part of being a professional.”
  • With the return of starting Heat point guard Kyle Lowry into the lineup, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel wonders if the moves of Oladipo and Vincent to the bench have hurt the reserves’ chemistry. Winderman postulates that Vincent may eventually feel the minutes squeeze as Lowry’s role increases.