The Victor Oladipo Watch will continue into a third consecutive season for the Miami Heat, in the wake of what had been hope that the 30-year-old guard was largely beyond the knee and quadriceps issues that had been limiting and debilitating in recent seasons.
The team said Oladipo missed Tuesday’s practice at FTX Arena with left knee tendonosis, putting into question more than his availability for Wednesday night’s season opener against the visiting Chicago Bulls.
“This is part of the process, when a player like Vic ramps it up, and then you add the workload and everything,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “I think this is normal. And we want to proceed with care. And that’s all this is right now.
“He’s day-to-day, and we want to make sure we take care of this, so it doesn’t linger.”
Oladipo in recent years has had procedures on his right knee and quadriceps, with this an issue with the opposite leg.
“And that’s why I say it’s kind of normal and kind of expected,” Spoelstra said. “When you really start to ramp it up, there’s still a little bit of overcompensation and a lot of load on the other leg. And everybody downstairs feels like this is the normal process.”
Oladipo, acquired at the 2021 NBA trading deadline from the Houston Rockets for Kelly Olynyk and Avery Bradley, has appeared in only 12 regular-season games for the Heat the past two regular seasons. But he is coming off a solid 15-game run in last season’s playoffs.
However, since signing a two-year, $18 million free-agent contract in July to return to the Heat, he struggled during the preseason, shooting a combined 4 of 18 from the field in his two appearances, including 1 of 7 on 3-pointers.
With Tyler Herro expected to move into the starting lineup, the expectation was of Oladipo being able to play as a shot creator with the second unit. The responsibility now, depending on Oladipo’s availability, could go to Gabe Vincent.
“I know he wants to be out there right now,” Spoelstra said of Oladipo, “but we’re looking at this big picture, still. And we don’t want to skip steps. We want to make sure his body’s feeling great and so things like this don’t linger.”
The only other player missing Tuesday’s practice was center Omer Yurtseven, who has been sidelined by ankle soreness the past two weeks.