Everyone knows Pat Riley and the Miami Heat are still hunting for stars. It’s no huge secret. Whenever a star player becomes available, Riley and the Heat are usually in a good position to make a move for them. They acquired Jimmy Butler in a sign-and-trade last summer. Over the next two summers, with more cap space, the Heat will be in a great position to add another star.
The chatter began with The Athletic’s Shams Charania noting the Heat’s interest in adding both Giannis Antetokounmpo and Victor Oladipo — the two players that I had identified a week earlier as Miami’s most likely targets in 2021 free agency. And now comes a Wednesday report from the Indianapolis Star that “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” as his next team.
The Star reported that “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.”
Oladipo is expected to enter the free agency market next summer. According to Ian Begley of SNY, the Pacers and Oladipo held contract extension talks before the 2019-20 season started, with the team offering the guard a four-year, $80 million deal. Oladipo declined the offer and the talks ended. It’s uncertain where the two sides stand now.
Miami is expected to be very aggressive during the 2021 free agency period. It’s known league-wide that their number one target is Giannis Antetokounmpo, the prized free agent of the 2021 class. The team is also expected to pursue Oladipo. He is currently sitting out the season restart to stay healthy for next season. With the 2021 free agency period a year away, the Heat will have a chance to watch Oladipo’s progress next season. But for now, Miami will continue to monitor the situation.
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