Victor Oladipo and the Miami Heat. It just rolls off the tongue since it’s the team that has been placed next to his name more than the four other franchises he’s actually played basketball for.
And as we get closer and closer to the trade deadline, it’s a name that will continue to be linked to Miami, as they’re searching for a shot-creating boost at guard, while Oladipo’s current team just went on a 20 game losing streak, before being snapped when he wasn’t even playing.
Now, while the Kyle Lowry situation continues to be the headline, as I highlighted his fit with Miami previously, Oladipo fills some of those same holes as well.
Instead of diving into the many angles of a possible trade, since it can change by the minute leading up to Thursday, the actual areas of elevation seems to be the part to dive into.
The first part is the addition of that point of attack defender that gets harped on time and time again. Miami’s interchanging defensive scheme may have placed them at the top of the defensive rating statistic since Jimmy Butler returned, but there are still clear breakdowns that occur with the Heat’s defensive guards.
Miami’s 2-3 zone may be looked at as a natural change for the Heat’s approach, but a major reason for that has been to hide some of Miami’s poor defenders and allow them to thrive on that end. It’s the same situation as a Lowry insertion, since it automatically flips the identity of this team.
The offensive side of the ball has been a major issue for Miami, and you may think bringing in a 32% three-point shooter since joining Houston may not be the right call. But it’s not just about the shooting.
It’s pretty clear that even if Miami loses some shooting on the current roster, they can play the buy-out market, which will continue to heat up more and more with shooters. To that point, the actual need is a guy who can score the ball on his own. And by that I mean without the reliance of his counter parts.
The construction of this team is to place Butler and Bam Adebayo in spots for them to get to their peak level. And I honestly believe a shot-creator is the one piece that forces another Adebayo leap, and gives Butler the needed help to lift some of the weight off of his shoulders.
It seems like the Oladipo ordeal will be a situational thing for Miami once again, as they await some pieces to fall in place. But if there’s any general question marks next to the actual fit, other than the long-term uncertainties by waiting until free agency, there shouldn’t be.
It must be simplized to a player’s want to play for a certain team and the team’s need for an elevation in certain parts of the game. So the answer is yes, Oladipo does elevate this team at the current moment.