The Houston Rockets, as part of the James Harden trade, received Victor Oladipo but he has shown no indication that he wants to sign an extension to stay in Houston. If Oladipo doesn’t want to stay in Houston, these are five teams that should target him in a trade to bolster their playoff chances.
The Rockets’ return for Harden was headlined by their acquisition of Victor Oladipo from the Indiana Pacers and thus far it looks to be a major mistake. Oladipo is only under contract for the remainder of the season and the player he was traded for, Caris LeVert, is signed through the 2022-23 season.
To make matters worse, the early rumblings out of Oladipo’s camp is that he is not interested in extending his stay in Houston and that he hopes to eventually play for the Miami Heat. While it is unlikely that Oladipo will play for the Heat due to their current employment of Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, his desire to play elsewhere should have the Rockets exploring their trade options.
There has never been a better time to trade superstar level talent. Teams that are near contention have made it dogma to push all of their chips in to make a run at the finals.
The Rockets just benefitted from the Nets all-in move as they received the richest draft pick haul in modern NBA history for James Harden and now they may be forced to cash in on Victor Oladipo. While Oladipo is not nearly the player Harden is, he still has a tremendous amount of trade value.
Harden is a bonafide superstar and he is compensated accordingly to the tune of $40.8 million this season. Oladipo is making nearly half of that at $21 million, which means almost every team in the league could realistically make a trade for him.
His value is not simply tied up in his contract either, Oladipo is a good on-ball defender and has been effective on offense this season as he continues to make progress after rupturing a tendon in his quad. Oladipo’s game fits nicely into any team as he’s adept without the ball in his hands and no team can have too many perimeter defenders.
The Rockets have a tough decision to make with Victor Oladipo but if he is being honest about not wanting to stay in Houston long term then the Rockets need to move him before the trade deadline. These are five teams that could use a jolt of Oladipo as they look to make a long playoff run.
Next: Team 5