The Houston Rockets’ newest addition, Victor Oladipo, is on an expiring contract and has not made it clear that he’d extend his time in Houston. The Rockets need to find out what they have in Oladipo and what they can get out of him.
The Houston Rockets’ James Harden era has officially come to an end. After eight full seasons, eight playoff appearances, eight All-Star selections, seven All-NBA selections which include six first-team selections, three scoring titles, and one MVP award James Harden and the Houston Rockets have broken up.
As his accolades can attest to, the production that Harden mustered on the court will be nearly impossible to replace. However, that won’t stop the newest Rocket and the man tasked with replacing Harden in the short term, Victor Oladipo, from giving it his best.
The Rockets are taking a massive gamble by acquiring Oladipo and how his time in Houston plays out will reverberate throughout the franchise for years to come. Oladipo is on an expiring contract, meaning he’ll be a free agent at the end of the season, and early reports suggest that he is not keen on extending his time in Houston.
What makes these reports so troublesome is that the player the Rockets traded to the Pacers via the Nets to land Oladipo, Caris LeVert is under contract for two more seasons after this one, which means the Rockets could have largely avoided this situation. While LeVert has not been as good as Oladipo in his career, he is younger and is crucially not coming off of a serious injury.
If Oladipo regains his pre-injury form and extends his stay with the Rockets then the franchise will have to be incredibly happy with their haul from the James Harden trade. Unfortunately, neither of those best-case scenarios have happened and until they do the franchise will remain without a clear direction.
The Houston Rockets, even after trading James Harden, are nowhere near finished with their remodeling job. How the franchise looks will come down to which Victor Oladipo they receive and whether or not they can hold onto him.
Next: Which Oladipo will the Rockets get?