Heat guard Victor Oladipo could miss next season with injury

Victor Oladipo played just four games with the Miami Heat before a season-ending injury to his right quadriceps tendon.

It’s the same devastating injury that knocked him out for over a year with the Indiana Pacers, leading ESPN’s Brian Windhorst to speculate about his availability for the 2021-22 NBA season.

“They haven’t announced it yet but there’s a good chance Oladipo’s going to miss all of next season,” Windhorst said on the Friday edition of his Hoop Collective podcast. “He’s going to be a free agent. I don’t know if anyone will sign him.”

Heat to be without Victor Oladipo longer than expected

The Heat announced Wednesday the two-time All-Star elected to have knee surgery and will miss the NBA playoffs. No official timeline for Oladipo’s return to play has been provided, but it appears his future in Miami is in question.

The 29-year-old has struggled with injuries throughout his career and has not played a full season since 2017-18.

The Heat acquired Oladipo from the Houston Rockets at the trade deadline for a bargain, giving up Kelly Olynyk, Avery Bradley and exchanging a 2022 first-round pick. They essentially rolled the dice on a hobbled player who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.

When healthy, Oladipo is a terrific one-on-one defender, not to mention a reliable offensive weapon. He can guard multiple positions and is comfortable with the ball in his hands when the game is on the line. He would surely have been a valuable asset to the playoff-bound Heat.

However, in this instance, the injury may have been more detrimental to Oladipo’s hopes of signing a long-term contract than to the Heat’s aim of a deep playoff run.

Oladipo initially opted out of the NBA 2020 “bubble” due to concerns about his knee but ended up playing so he wouldn’t lose millions of dollars. Facing another surgery, Oladipo may regret turning down the hefty extension he was offered by the Pacers last year. With a lengthy recovery ahead, his chances of a big payday during the upcoming offseason are slim.

Oladipo played just 33 games this season with Indiana, Houston and Miami, averaging19.8 points. He averaged 4.8 rebounds and 4.6 assists across the campaign.

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