Miami Heat guard Victor Oladipo underwent season-ending surgery on his right quadriceps tendon, coach Erik Spoelstra confirmed Thursday. Oladipo was traded from Houston to Miami back in March and has been sidelined since April 8. Over that time, the team had not given many updates regarding his injury, which they originally referred to as "right knee soreness."
However, this new update shows the injury he sustained in a game against the Los Angeles Lakers was significant, and Oladipo will once again be out for what could be a long period of time. This also happens to be the same quad that he tore a tendon in back in 2019 when he was still a member of the Indiana Pacers, making this injury all the more brutal.
This season has been a tumultuous one for Oladipo, who started the year with the Pacers but was part of a three-team trade that sent James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets. Oladipo was sent to Houston in exchange for Caris LeVert and then was moved again as the trade deadline passed. Over the course of the season, he averaged 19.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.6 assists, but he only played in four games with the Heat before going down with this injury.
The Heat made the trade for Oladipo in part to get an early look at how he would fit with their roster with his impending free agency this summer, and also to bolster their chances at making a deep postseason run this year. However, after going up for a dunk and coming down awkwardly during that Lakers game, Oladipo immediately began grabbing at his knee and exited the game shortly after.
While this is upsetting for the Heat, this is a monumental blow for Oladipo's career. Prior to his first quad injury in 2019 he looked like one of the league's best two-way guards. He made back-to-back All-Star games in 2018 and 2019, earned All-NBA and All-Defense honors and won Most Improved Player during the 2017-18 season when he put up a career-high 23.1 points while leading the league in steals (2.4).
Since that initial injury, the road back to that has been bumpy for Oladipo, who missed a majority of last season while still rehabbing from that quad tear and was in and out of the lineup this year with various ailments. To make matters even worse, this season-ending surgery comes at the worst time for him as he's set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. At one point, Oladipo could've earned a max contract from any number of teams in the league, but the chances of him getting a hefty contract this summer have now dwindled with this new injury.
Hopefully, he'll be able to return to full health after the surgery and he can begin to make progress again toward playing at the All-Star level we've seen him perform.