Major update offered on Miami Heat trading Victor Oladipo to Oklahoma City Thunder

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The Miami Heat reportedly are using future draft picks to create some spending room for free agency, sending two selections to the Oklahoma City Thunder as part of the trade that will also send out Victor Oladipo.

Reports surfaced Friday that Oladipo is on his way to the Thunder, and by completing the trade, the Heat will create a trade exception of $9.45 million, the value of his contract for this season. The picks are the price Miami is paying Oklahoma City to take on that salary.

Oladipo opted into that contract on Tuesday. He injured his knee in the first round of the playoffs last season, and it is unknown when he will be able to return to game action.

The 31-year-old played for Oklahoma City during the 2016-17 season. He was limited to just eight regular season games with Miami in the 2021-22 campaign, as he was recovering from surgery, but he was able to average 10.7 points per game in 42 regular season games last season.

Oladipo is not the only player leaving the Heat, with Gabe Vincent bound for the Los Angeles Lakers on a new contract and Max Strus on his way to join the Cleveland Cavaliers in a three-team trade. Miami is set to receive a second-round pick in that deal.

Vincent did not find Miami’s reported offer to his liking, and the California native instead is on his way to Los Angeles on a deal reportedly worth $33 million for three years.

The Heat have been linked to some big names so far this offseason, including James Harden, but have yet to make a headline-grabbing acquisition. They continue to wait patiently for Damian Lillard to decide if his future is with the Portland Trail Blazers or someone else.

The Oladipo trade could provide some flexibility deeper down the roster for the Heat, but if Miami intends on getting back to the NBA Finals, it will need to find another top player to complement Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, especially after losing crucial role players like Vincent and Strus.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. His introduction to the business included the legendary Heat-Knicks rivalry from the 1990s.