Miami Heat guard Victor Oladipo recently underwent surgery on his right quadriceps tendon, and unfortunately, he might be looking at missing next season, too.
Losing Oladipo for the Heat’s upcoming playoff run was bad enough for Miami, but its All-Star ace in the hole might not return to the hardwood for a long time, according to ESPN insider Brian Windhorst, who reported on his “Hoops Collective” podcast, “There’s a good chance Oladipo’s going to miss all of next season.”
Originally traded from the Indiana Pacers to the Houston Rockets as part of the James Harden blockbuster deal, Oladipo eventually landed in Miami in late March. The Heat were an ideal destination for Oladipo all along, but he only appeared in four games for the team.
The two-time All-Star was the second overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft and seemed to have finally found a home after bouncing around to four prior squads.
Last year’s run to the NBA Finals can’t exactly be called a fluke for Miami. There’s a strong mix of young talent and veteran leadership on the Heat, and Jimmy Butler is the catalyst for everything.
But having a dynamic 2-guard like Oladipo — who’s a more efficient three-point shooter than Butler is — to essentially serve as the No. 2 perimeter scoring option was something Miami really needed.
Prior to Oladipo’s injury, it was presumed that he’d sign some sort of multiyear extension to stay with the Heat. Now that this injury situation is reportedly far more severe, he can’t be the missing piece to a potential championship contender, and he’ll hit free agency this summer amid a lot of uncertainty.
The East only got tougher this season with Harden going to the Brooklyn Nets and the ascent of surprising teams like the New York Knicks and Charlotte Hornets. The Philadelphia 76ers have also gone to another level under new head coach Doc Rivers.
It’s an uphill battle for Miami to get out of the East in the next two postseasons, and the Heat even got off to a slow enough start this season to where it was almost getting time to hit the panic button. Having Oladipo for next season would’ve been something great to look forward to, but now, in all likelihood, Miami will need to find another blue-chip player elsewhere.