Since the successful acquisition of Jimmy Butler last summer, the Miami Heat has been active on the market, searching for a second superstar that could boost their chances of fully dominating the Eastern Conference and winning the NBA championship. The team has already been linked to several NBA superstars who are expected to be available on the trade and free agency market this fall and even in the 2021 NBA offseason. Among the potential targets for the Heat in the star-studded 2021 NBA free agency is veteran shooting guard Victor Oladipo of the Indiana Pacers.
There is still plenty of time before Oladipo officially becomes an unrestricted free agent, but it seems like he already has an idea in mind of where he wants to play next if he doesn’t reach an agreement on a contract extension with the Pacers. According to J. Michael of the Indianapolis Star, Oladipo considers the Heat as one of his preferred landing spots in free agency.
“Despite rampant speculation that he could end up with the Knicks (he fired Leon Rose of CAA, then his agent who is now president of the franchise), the strongest preliminary indication is Miami,” Michael wrote, as quoted by Paul Kasabian of Bleacher Report.
It’s no longer a surprise why Oladipo views the Heat as one of his ideal destinations in the summer of 2021. The Heat is among few NBA teams that could give Oladipo the top two things he would be looking for in the 2021 NBA free agency.
“Two league sources told IndyStar that Oladipo wants two things: the most money possible [he will be 29 next year] and the chance to win big in the playoffs,” Michael wrote.
The Heat is preserving salary cap space to chase Milwaukee Bucks power forward Giannis Antetokounmpo in free agency, but if they fail in their pursuit of the reigning MVP, they reportedly consider Oladipo as their Plan B. With his current health status, some people may think that it would be risky for the Heat to wager its future on Oladipo.
However, knowing Heat President Pat Riley, he would first make sure that Oladipo is in optimal shape and has already regained his All-Star form before throwing away a huge amount of money to bring him to South Beach. When he’s 100 percent healthy, Oladipo’s potential arrival in Miami could further improve the Heat’s offensive and defensive efficiency that currently rank 7th and 12th in the league, respectively, per ESPN.
It would still take time for Oladipo to familiarize himself with head coach Erik Spoelstra’s system, but once he manages to build good chemistry with Butler and Bam Adebayo, the Heat would undoubtedly become a more dangerous team to face in a best-of-seven series.