Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on Wednesday that two-time NBA All-Star Victor Oladipo is headed back to the Miami Heat (see Tweet below).
Oladipo re-signing with Miami was not the surprising aspect of the move. Instead, it was what ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported about his contract.
According to Wojnarowski, (see Tweet below from SportsCenter), the deal is just for one year and the league minimum.
Therefore, the 2020 Eastern Conference champions just got a budding superstar player in 2018 for a minimum contract.
That being said, Oladipo has suffered injuries since the peak of his career, and just had season ending surgery after his fourth game with the Heat (see Tweet below).
Even so, the minimal risk is definitely worth the potential reward.
During the 2017-18 season, Oladipo averaged 23.1 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game. At 25 years old he led the Pacers to a 48-34 record which was good for the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference playoff picture.
However, they ran into LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers during the first round but still took the future 2018 Eastern Conference champions to seven games.
In the playoff series against the Cavaliers, Oladipo averaged an outstanding 22.7 points, 8.3 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game.
He was on track to be a top-five shooting guard in all of the NBA.
The next season Oladipo continued his dominance as an All-Star shooting guard in the Eastern Conference, and averaged 18.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.7 steals per game.
The Pacers were on track to compete for a top-three seed in the playoffs, but Oladipo would suffer a ruptured quadriceps tendon that knocked him out for the remainder of that season and most of the next.
Even so, when he came back for the Pacers in 2019, he averaged 14.5 points per game in just 27.8 minutes per game.
In the playoffs that season, the Heat swept the Pacers, but Oladipo still averaged 17.8 points and played over 30 minutes per game.
In nine games with the Pacers he averaged 20.0 points 5.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.7 steals per game (those numbers sound just like his All-Star numbers).
In 20 games with the Rockets he averaged 21.2 points, 4.8 rebounds 5.0 assists and 1.2 steals per game. He even had a season-high 34 points against the Atlanta Hawks on Jan 3, where he played an also season-high 41 minutes and 21 seconds.
After just four games with the Heat, his quadriceps injury that ended his season once again will take time to heal, but this is a player that was on a track for a max contract, and one of the best organizations in all of sports just landed him for the league minimum (and have his bird rights, according to Charania).
If Oladipo can come back as even half of the player he was last season; the Heat will look ingenious.