It’s unclear when Oladipo will return from his latest quad injury, and the Heat have limited space below the hard cap. He will get a fairly low salary, maybe even the minimum ($2,389,641), on what sounds like a one-year or 1+1 contract.
That’s a tough blow for Oladipo, who reportedly rejected an extension from the Pacers that started at $20 million-$25 million and included max raises. Oladipo also rejected a two-year extension worth more than $45 million from the Rockets in February, treating the offer (the largest allowable at the time) as a mere courtesy Houston knew he wouldn’t accept.
But Oladipo, amid injury issues, hasn’t played well in years. He must prove himself (again).
If Oladipo returns anywhere near the level he reached in Indiana, he could earn a big payday next summer. The Heat won’t necessarily be hard-capped then. They could exceed the salary cap to re-sign him through Bird Rights.
However, the luxury-tax bill could be enormous. Miami has already invested heavily in Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Kyle Lowry and Duncan Robinson. Even if Oladipo earns a big contract, the Heat might be reluctant to pay it.
Of course, it’s far from guaranteed 29-year-old Oladipo gets back on track. Miami, which has playoff ambitions this season, would be thrilled if Oladipo shows enough to force that conundrum.