The Miami Heat won the 2021 NBA trade deadline, thanks to a last-minute swap that landed them Victor Oladipo. Miami's moves, including the ones they didn't make, made them the deadline's clear winner after a day full of crazy wheeling and dealing.
Right at the deadline, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski announced the Heat had landed Oladipo, a player who had long wanted to end up in Miami. The return for the two-time All-Star was light, as the Houston Rockets will receive Avery Bradley, Kelly Olynyk and a draft swap. That's almost nothing for one of the hottest names at the deadline.
If you think Olynyk will be a loss, the Heat traded for Nemanja Bjelica earlier in the day and only surrendered Moe Harkless and Chris Silva. Oladipo is an upgrade over Bradley and given where the Heat are right now, they probably don't care one bit about a draft swap. They got much better in the span of a few hours.
Perhaps most importantly, the Heat didn't give up much of value to get better. They held firm and refused to trade Tyler Herro. The 21-year-old guard has come back down to Earth a bit this year after a phenomenal showing in the NBA's Orlando bubble, but he's still a valuable piece now and will continue to be in the future. Miami also held on to sharpshooter Duncan Robinson. The impending restricted free agent will remain with the Heat for the rest of the season and his 3-point shooting (38.2 percent) continues to be a key to the team's playoff hopes.
As for Oladipo, it's been a weird few months. He'll now be on his third team this season and will hit free agency this summer. On the year he's averaging 20.8 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.7 assists. While he's struggled a bit defensively this season he'll join a Miami team with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, two excellent defenders. I would bet heavily on Oladipo picking up the pace on that end with better player around him.
All-in-all, the Heat aced the trade deadline. They didn't get Kyle Lowry from the Toronto Raptors, but the price was simply too steep. Miami did what it had to do and didn't give up too much in the process.