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Victor Oladipo entered free agency with his eyes open, determined to find what would be the best place for him.

Turns out he was already there.

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Miami Heat’s Victor Oladipo #4 looks on during Game 7 of the 2022 NBA Playoff Eastern Conference Finals on May 29, 2022 at FTX Arena in Miami, Florida.
(Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

Oladipo signed his new contract with the Miami Heat on Thursday, a two-year contract with the second of those years at his option. Injuries and recovery limited him to 12 of a possible 110 regular season appearances in his first season and a half with the franchise, and he and the Heat are counting on him to be able to handle a lot more this coming year. .

“I think the biggest goal for me is to show everyone that I’m healthy and can play for a whole year – and also to show everyone that I’m one of the best players in the game. the league,” Oladipo said. “So everything else will take care of itself. And that’s what I’m focusing on.”

Oladipo played just eight regular season games last season as he recovered from a second surgery to repair his right quadriceps tendon. He was a two-time All-Star with Indiana before being injured in January 2019. He returned a year later, was nowhere near the same player, and Indiana traded him to Houston in January 2021. The Rockets didn’t keep it long. before moving him to Miami, with whom Oladipo played four games in March 2021 before re-injuring himself.

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Miami Heat's Victor Oladipo #4 against the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals at FTX Arena on May 29, 2022 in Miami, Florida.

Miami Heat’s Victor Oladipo #4 against the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals at FTX Arena on May 29, 2022 in Miami, Florida.
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

It took him most of last season to come back. He played in 15 playoff games for Miami this spring, playing significantly more in the playoffs than in the regular season. Then came free agency, and Oladipo looked around and quickly decided Miami was his best bet.

“It was just the best deal for me, I feel, and it seemed like a lot of people were turning away from me,” Oladipo said. “So I think coming back here and playing with the Heat was the best option for me. Now I can’t wait to get it going again. I felt like we had a really good, strong opportunity to get to the Finals. .last year. That’s the goal this year.

Since his first injury in January 2019, Oladipo has been limited to 60 regular season games. But the Heat entered the offseason convinced that Oladipo — a former NBA player, All-Defensive team player and even a Most Improved Player award winner — only needed time to regain its shape.

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Miami Heat's Victor Oladipo #4 shoots the ball against the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the 2022 NBA Playoff Eastern Conference Finals on May 29, 2022 at FTX Arena in Miami, Florida.

Miami Heat’s Victor Oladipo #4 shoots the ball against the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the 2022 NBA Playoff Eastern Conference Finals on May 29, 2022 at FTX Arena in Miami, Florida.
(Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

“He hasn’t had a summer like this and probably four summers,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said at the end of the season. “Yeah, you’re going to see a totally different Vic next year by the time he gets to training camp. He’s coming into the summer physically able to work in his craft and he’ll be back to the player people were used to seeing. “

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