Miami Heat: Pass or pursue on 5 rumored NBA trade deadline targets

Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images
Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images /
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Miami Heat: Duncan Robinson, Jimmy Butler, Houston Rockets: Victor Oladipo
Miami Heat, NBA trade deadline (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Should the Miami Heat pass on or pursue rumored trade target Victor Oladipo?

The reported mutual interest between Victor Oladipo and the Miami Heat has been an ongoing rumor for months now. As ESPN’s Brian Windhorst summed it up on a recent episode of The Hoop Collective podcast:

"“I don’t think it’s any secret in the league Victor has a desire to play in Miami. He’d like to go there in free agency. They’re going to have cap space, so that may happen.”"

It is an open secret that the guard has Miami on his mind as he approaches free agency at the end of this season, and Miami could accelerate the process by trading for him before the deadline.

Since joining the Houston Rockets in January as part of the James Harden blockbuster, the former All-Star has struggled to maintain consistency. When he has been able to hit the floor, the guard is averaging 21.2 points on a .399/.316/.772 slash line, 4.8 rebounds, and 4.9 assists per game. While his shooting numbers are inefficient, Oladipo could certainly help bring another former All-Star aboard as they gear up for another hopeful deep postseason run.

However, the Heat should stand pat with this one. As Houston’s most star-studded asset, they will likely demand a strong haul in exchange Oladipo. His expiring $21 million salary complicates the matter further in trying to piece together a deal. Even though the guard would help Miami in the present, it would make little sense for them to give up a worthy haul of assets for a player that will likely join the team in a few months regardless.

Waiting it out until free agency would also be a smart move for Miami so they can get a genuine assessment of Oladipo’s health. The guard had played in just 55 regular season games throughout the previous two seasons due to a ruptured quad tendon suffered in January 2019, and the jury is still out whether he can return to his All-Star form permanently.

Appearing in just 27 total games this season, a larger sample size could be best for Miami, particularly if Oladipo is indeed seeking a contract worth north of $100 million in free agency. The Heat should keep an eye on the 28-year-old, but targeting him in free agency makes more sense than going all-out in a trade right now.

The Verdict: Pass

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