Last week, Victor Oladipo posted a minute-long Instagram video. He stretches his legs, lifts weights and shoots basketballs. The caption read, “4 months in.” The implication was clear — I’ll be back.
The two-time All-Star had surgery to repair his right quadriceps tendon just four games into his Miami Heat career. As I’ve written before, Oladipo could return for NBA action before the turn of the calendar. On a recent episode of the 5 on the Floor podcast, Greg Sylvander again reiterated that the former No. 2 overall pick could be back by December.
“Obviously all this stuff is fluid, but sources close to @VicOladipo’s process throughout the summer maintain he’s ahead of schedule and there is an expectation surrounding him that he can be hooping by December.” - @GregSylvander on @5ReasonsSports pic.twitter.com/erilnZsHCA— Naveen Ganglani (@naveenganglani) September 6, 2021
Last month, I said that Oladipo is the wild card for the Heat’s championship prospects. In 2018, Oladipo made both the All-NBA and All-Defensive Teams. Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo made the All-Defensive Team last year. Though they’ve (somehow) never made an All-Defensive Team, Kyle Lowry and P.J. Tucker are known as tough defenders.
Imagine a closing five of Lowry, Oladipo, Butler, Tucker and Adebayo. That’s a deadly, defensive lineup. Miami could sub in Duncan Robinson for Tucker for shooting and go offense/defense if they’d like.
Oladipo has an incentive to play well so that he can earn a big paycheck again. He has a role to fill on his squad.