The Miami Heat made a big-time move at the buzzer of the NBA trade deadline to acquire former All-Star Victor Oladipo from the Houston Rockets. It was a move that shocked fans who were giving in to the idea that he would not be moved. Now, we will have to wait and see how Oladipo plays with his new team.
Despite the health issues that Oladipo has gone through over the last couple of years, he has been starting to look more athletic and explosive. His game, however, has not gotten back to the All-Star form that it used to be at.
Following his early-season trade to the Rockets from the Indiana Pacers, Oladipo ended up playing in 20 games. He averaged 21.2 points per game to go along with 5.0 assists, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.2 steals. Oladipo shot 40.7 percent from the floor and 32 percent from the three-point line.
Even though there are concerns about how he will fit with the Heat, he is exactly the perfect fit they needed. Let’s take a look at why he is a perfect fit in Miami.
Why Victor Oladipo Is Exactly What The Heat Needed
Looking at the way the Heat started the season, many thought they were headed for a stinker of a season. Recently, they have begun playing like the team that many were expecting. Once again, they are looking like legitimate contenders in the Eastern Conference.
So, with that being said, how will Victor Oladipo fit in with his new team?
One NBA scout shared his thoughts about the fit for Oladipo in South Beach.
“Miami isn’t asking Oladipo to be their go-to scorer. They are asking him to be a supporting cast member. Oladipo is more than capable of handling that role. He will be a guy who can score 20 points on any given night, which is exactly what the Heat needed.”
Miami has desperately needed another player who can create his own shot, create for teammates, and come up clutch in the closing minutes of a game. Jimmy Butler has had way too much pressure on him this year. Opposing defenses have been able to focus on taking the ball out of Butler’s hands late in games.
Now, with Oladipo on the court, defenses will have to pick their poison. Do they focus on Butler and allow Oladipo to get to the rim or knock down a pull-up jumper? Or do they try to play straight up and let either Butler or Oladipo have a one-on-one situation?
Not only will his offense come up big for the Heat down the stretch of the season, his defense will be a major plus as well. Oladipo may not be an “elite” on-ball defender, but he is great at getting into the passing lane. That will make the Heat an even more pesky defensive team.
This move does not guarantee the Heat another NBA Finals run. It doesn’t even guarantee them a deep playoff run. But, being able to acquire an All-Star caliber player without even having to give up Duncan Robinson is a major win for Pat Riley and company.
Victor Oladipo may not end up getting back to his All-Star level of play, but he is going to fit in nicely with the Heat. In fact, there is a good chance that he will fit in nicely for a few more years after this season.
For all intents and purposes, this was the best possible trade that the Heat could have made at the trade deadline.