Pat Riley brilliantly hardballed Rockets for Victor Oladipo, report shows
The Miami Heat made out like bandits in acquiring Victor Oladipo, and they may have The Godfather’s legendary negotiation tactics to thank.
NBA writer Evan Massey quoted an unnamed agent Thursday who revealed how the Heat’s talks with the Houston Rockets for Oladipo went down.
“Miami played this exactly right,” the agent said. “Up until the last second, the Rockets were demanding Duncan Robinson. Heat waited and Houston knew they’d lose Oladipo for nothing. Big win for Pat Riley.”
News of Miami’s trade for Oladipo broke shortly after the 3 PM EST trade deadline on Thursday. In the end, the Heat only had to give up guard Avery Bradley (who has barely played for them this season), big man Kelly Olynyk (a 10-and-6 player who is currently shooting a career-worst percentage from the field), and some fairly inconsequential draft pick compensation. Miami managed to keep all four of their most coveted assets in Robinson, Tyler Herro, Precious Achiuwa, and Kendrick Nunn.
Of course, Riley and the Heat were negotiating from a position of strength. The two-time All-Star Oladipo was all but guaranteed to leave the Rockets in free agency this summer after turning down an extension offer from them. He already had widely reported interest in signing with Miami as well.
Still, the Heat president Riley is one of the NBA all-time great executives, thanks in part to masterful hardball jobs like this one. There a reason why other front offices are not too fond of him.