Which Victor Oladipo will the Houston Rockets get?
In the fast-paced world of the NBA, players, especially in small markets, can be forgotten in a blink of an eye. Victor Oladipo is one of those players and due to playing in Indiana and a serious injury the NBA media has forgotten just how good of a player he can be.
In 2017-18, Oladipo was 25-years-old and found himself on his third team in as many seasons. It seems incredible that the number two overall pick in the 2013 draft had bounced around that much while simultaneously averaging 15.9 points a game over his first four seasons, but the Indiana Pacers were happy to benefit from other franchises’ mistakes.
Oladipo’s first season with the Pacer saw a convergence of factors lead to his blossoming into an elite player. The fire of being given up on twice and him entering his prime playing years powered his two-way masterclass 2017-18 season that saw him 23.1 points and a league-leading 2.4 steals per game.
For Oladipo’s efforts, he was voted first-team All-Defense and third-team All-NBA before he led the Pacers into the playoffs and through a seven-game clash with the LeBron James led Cleveland Cavaliers. This marked the high point of Oladipo’s career, thus far, and it’s also the crux of the Rockets’ problem.
Victor Oladipo still thinks he is the player that almost outdueled LeBron James but he hasn’t been close to that player since. Even before he suffered a serious injury his play had declined in 2018-19 from the previous season’s highs.
Oladipo remains a very good player but it stands to reason that he still believes he’s a superstar caliber player. What the Rockets have to figure out over the coming months is whether or not they believe that the Oladipo from 2017-18 still exists and if not, what does he still have left.
Next: Can Oladipo regain his superstar form?