Should the Houston Rockets trade Victor Oladipo?
There has been a lot of speculation that the Rockets are attempting to move Oladipo before he even plays one game with the franchise because the trade between them and Pacers has taken a long time to complete. However, what’s likely holding up the trade is the fact that travel is difficult during a pandemic and both Caris Levert and Oladipo have had injury problems which place added emphasis on their medicals being completed to seal the deal.
That isn’t to say that the Rockets won’t move him if they don’t think they can extend him, but that it remains more likely that the Rockets will try and build up his trade value a little. Remember, Oladipo looks close to a statistical breakthrough that could see his value skyrocket and an analytically inclined franchise like the Rockets are sure to have noticed.
The question still remains, should the Rockets entertain trading Oladipo this season? The answer is yes, but it comes with a serious but. Yes, the Rockets should entertain trading Oladipo, but if he wants to stay then it makes sense to sign him to an extension and see if a trio of John Wall, Christian Wood, and Oladipo can make some noise.
The Rockets might want to rebuild but as currently constructed it doesn’t make much sense for them to go that route right now. The franchise doesn’t outright own all if it’s upcoming picks which means losing for the sake of the lottery isn’t an effective strategy and John Wall is still going to be making over $40 million the next two seasons.
As it currently stands, trying to be bad the next few seasons won’t help the Rockets’ future much as they’ll still be an expensive team that can’t fully capitalize on the draft. If Oladipo looks healthy and continues to play well the Rockets would be insane not to extend him.
However, if Oladipo informs Rafael Stone that there is no way that he is signing an extension with the Rockets under any circumstances then the franchise should do their best to try and move him. It’s unfortunate but the Rockets traded one disgruntled superstar for a disgruntled All-Star, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have Oladipo suit up.
Stephen Silas is a promising first-year coach, Christian Wood is playing like an All-Star, and John Wall should see his incredible playmaking skills leaned into more now that Harden is gone. Oladipo might not think he wants to play in Houston, but if the Rockets play well with him then why wouldn’t he want to keep a good thing going if the money is there?
Victor Oladipo is a good player and the Rockets have to see what they have in him even if he makes it clear that he has no interest in signing an extension. The trade deadline is months away and maybe Oladipo will change his mind or increase his trade value, but the point remains that the Rockets shouldn’t rush to trade Oladipo.