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Victor Oladipo's Role with Heat 'Is Going to Expand Exponentially,' Says NBA Insider

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVAugust 25, 2022

Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Victor Oladipo believes he's one of the best players in the world.

The Miami Heat are reportedly going to give him a chance to prove it next season.

Joe Vardon of The Athletic reported Oladipo's role is set to "expand exponentially" in the aftermath of P.J. Tucker leaving for the Philadelphia 76ers in free agency.

Oladipo was widely expected to leave Miami this summer before surprisingly returning on a two-year, $18.2 million contract that includes a player option for the 2023-24 campaign.

The two-time All-Star has appeared in only 60 games since suffering a ruptured quad tendon in his knee in January 2019. He was limited to nine regular-season games with the Heat in 2021-22 as he recovered from another surgery on the same quad tendon, averaging 12.4 points, 3.5 assists and 2.9 rebounds.

While Oladipo was part of Miami's run to the Eastern Conference Finals, he struggled mightily to find a consistent rhythm in the pressure-packed playoff atmosphere. The 30-year-old shot just 36.8 percent from the floor and closed the conference finals out with three straight single-digit scoring performances as the Boston Celtics advanced to the Finals.

Despite myriad injury issues over the last three seasons, Oladipo's confidence in himself has not been shaken.

"I'm one of the best players in the world. Period. I think that my injury has kind of built a misconception of who I am as a player," Oladipo said this month on Vince Carter's podcast The VC Show.

Oladipo also said his recent issues were caused by a "messed up" surgery, and he's feeling back to his former All-Star self. His career peaked during the 2017-18 season, as he averaged 23.1 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.3 assists while leading the NBA with 2.4 steals per game.

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