Victor Oladipo Unlikely To Rejoin Heat In 2021 Playoffs After Opting For Season-Ending Surgery

Victor Oladipo practice his dribbling before the game
Gettyimages | Pool
Basketball

Veteran shooting guard Victor Oladipo was one of the players that the Miami Heat added to their roster before the 2021 trade deadline. In need of more scoring options and shot creators behind the superstar duo of Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, the Heat decided to trade Avery Bradley, Kelly Olynyk, and the rights to swap first-round picks in 2022 to the Houston Rockets in exchange for Oladipo.

Though he's a possible one-year rental, the Heat believed that adding Oladipo to their roster would strengthen their chances of making a deep playoff run this year.

Victor Oladipo Undergoes Season-Ending Injury

Victor Oladipo driving his way into the basket
Gettyimages | Carmen Mandato

Unfortunately for the Heat, they would no longer be having Oladipo by their side when the real battle begins in the 2021 Playoffs. According to Royce Young of ESPN, the veteran shooting guard has decided to undergo season-ending surgery to repair his right quadriceps tendon.

"Miami Heat guard Victor Oladipo has opted to have season-ending surgery on his right quadriceps tendon, the team announced Wednesday. Oladipo will have the surgery Thursday in New York, and the team said there currently is no timetable for his recovery and return to play. Oladipo has been out since injuring his right knee in Miami's win over the Los Angeles Lakers on April 8."

Health Issues Continue To Haunt Victor Oladipo

Victor Oladipo suffers an injury
Gettyimages | Andy Lyons

Oladipo's problems with his right quadriceps tendon started in 2019 when he was still playing for the Indiana Pacers. Before he got injured, Oladipo was on his way to becoming one of the best two-way players in the league. In the 2017-18 NBA season, he earned his first All-Star recognition and was named NBA All-Defensive First Team after averaging 23.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 2.4 steals while shooting 47.7 percent from the field and 37.1 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN.

Since returning to the court in January 2020, Oladipo is yet to regain his All-Star form and has struggled to stay healthy. Before he injured his right quadriceps tendon again, he only played 52 regular-season games.

Injury To Affect Victor Oladipo's Free Agency

Before he demanded a trade from the Rockets before the 2021 trade deadline, they offered him a massive contract extension worth $45 million. However, Oladipo chose to decline the Rockets' offer, believing that he could get a better deal when he becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer.

However, with his current health status, it remains a big question mark if there will be teams that are willing to throw away a huge amount of money just to add Oladipo to their roster. Unless he fully recovers before the 2021 free agency, Oladipo is likely to be forced to accept a veteran minimum deal in the upcoming offseason.

Heat Need To Rely On Youthful Depth For Secondary Scoring Behind Jimmy Butler & Bam Adebayo

Despite losing their biggest acquisition at the 2021 trade deadline, the fight goes on for the Heat. With Oladipo no longer expected to return to the court in the 2020-21 NBA season, the Heat would be needing to rely on young players like Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, and Kendrick Nunn for secondary scoring behind Butler and Adebayo.

On Tuesday night, the Heat have succeeded to clinch a spot in the 2021 Playoffs after beating the Boston Celtics, 129-121. As of now, the Heat are still focused on winning their remaining games in the regular season with the hope of earning the No. 4 spot in the Eastern Conference to obtain a home-court advantage in the first round.