After months of rumors and trade speculation involving Victor Oladipo and the Miami Heat, a trade has been reported right before the deadline of Thursday’s NBA trade deadline in which the Houston Rockets will receive Kelly Olynyk, Avery Bradley and the right to swap 2022 first-round picks for the former All-Star.
Oladipo, 28, had been linked to the Heat since last year when he played for the Indiana Pacers and before he was acquired by the Rockets in January. However, it was heavily rumored that he was nonetheless still interested in joining the Heat eventually, perhaps as a free agent. Once several trade proposals with the Toronto Raptors for impending free agent guard Kyle Lowry fell through, likely because Pat Riley was not interested in trading Tyler Herro for a 35-year-old point guard they could possibly sign outright this summer, Miami pounced on Oladipo — who is also an impending free agent.
With the trade, the Heat’s developing young core of Herro, Duncan Robinson, Kendrick Nunn and Precious Achiuwa remains intact — though Riley appears ready to move on from their underwhelming offseason signings, having sent away Moe Harkless (plus Chris Silva) in today’s earlier trade for Sacramento Kings big man Nemanja Bjelica and now Bradley. Neither veteran had played much for the Heat this season and didn't appear to be close to cracking the rotation.
Bjelica’s acquisition helped pave the way for Miami to move on from Olynyk, who had been starting at power forward for the Heat for the better part of the season.
Oladipo, who averaged 21.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 4.7 assists in 20 games with the Rockets, is in the final season of a four-year, $85 million contract and is now expected to sign a new deal with the Heat. He is a two-time All-Star selection and was named the Most Improved Player as well as selected for the All-Defensive First Team in 2018.
Today’s trades have opened a roster spot, with LaMarcus Aldridge finalizing his buyout with the San Antonio Spurs and the Heat regarded as the frontrunners to sign him.