The Heat Could Acquire Another Disgruntled Rockets Star After Missing Out on James Harden
The Miami Heat had some level of interest in acquiring James Harden from the Houston Rockets. However, the franchise wasn’t willing to part ways with Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, and Precious Achiuwa.
When the Heat signed Jimmy Butler in the summer of 2019, president Pat Riley promised the All-Star small forward he would get another star player in the future. Miami reached the 2020 Finals with Butler and Bam Adebayo leading the way, but the team lost to LeBron James and the LA Lakers in six games.
Despite missing out on Harden and the Washington Wizards insisting that Bradley Beal–a player the Heat are enamored with–isn’t available via trade, Miami can still fulfill its promise to Butler by trading for another disgruntled Rockets star.
The Heat could struggle to get back to the Finals this season
The Brooklyn Nets have to be the favorite to win the Eastern Conference after acquiring James Harden. Their Big 3 of Harden, Kevin Durant, and Kyrie Irving will be extremely difficult to stop.
While the Heat have a deeper bench than the Nets and more versatile defenders, basketball has always been and will always be about scoring, and Brooklyn has three of the best scorers in the NBA. The Heat rely on Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and Goran Dragic to score the ball. The three All-Stars are great players, but they can’t get into a scoring battle with Durant, Harden, and Irving.
With that being said, the Heat have to acquire another dynamic scorer and playmaker to challenge the Nets for Eastern Conference supremacy. It just so happens there is a two-time All-Star who plays for the Rockets, doesn’t want to be in Houston, and prefers to play in Miami.
The Rockets acquired Victor Oladipo, who wants to play for the Heat
The Rockets acquired Victor Oladipo from the Indiana Pacers in the four-team James Harden trade. Oladipo is a two-time All-Star and one of the best shooting guards in the NBA. He won the 2017-18 Most Improved Player of the Year Award and has rebounded nicely from the serious injury he suffered in 2018-19.
Oladipo and the Pacers weren’t able to agree to a contract extension last season. The Maryland native didn’t want to play in Indiana anymore and was happy that the Pacers traded him. However, Oladipo wasn’t too excited about getting traded to the Rockets. He was hoping Indiana would send him to the Heat.
According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, Oladipo “still hopes to find himself in Miami.” The high-flyer becomes an unrestricted free agent after the 2020-21 season. The Rockets can’t lose Oladipo without getting anything in return, so they might move him at the 2021 trade deadline if they feel that the former second overall pick doesn’t want to stay in Houston.
That’s where the Heat could jump into the picture to create a Big 4 of Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Victor Oladipo, and Goran Dragic.
Will Pat Riley be willing to trade Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson for Victor Oladipo?
Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson are two of the best shooters in the NBA. Many Heat fans don’t want the franchise to trade either sharpshooter.
Pat Riley is going to have to make a tough decision soon. If word gets around the league that the Rockets are listening to trade offers for Victor Oladipo since he doesn’t want to play in Houston, the Heat may have to part ways with Herro and/or Robinson to ensure that the team is doing everything it can to surround Jimmy Butler with high-level talent so the club can win a championship.