Rockets: 3 trades to send Victor Oladipo to the Nuggets

Victor Oladipo #7 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
Victor Oladipo #7 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /
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Houston Rockets
Will Barton #5 of the Denver Nuggets (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

2. Houston Rockets receive Gary Harris, Will Barton

This trade proposal could be a win-win for both teams, as the Nuggets would receive Oladipo to help on the wing, while also landing known 3-and-D specialist P.J. Tucker. The Nuggets rank 19th in defensive rating, and Tucker could certainly help with that, as he prides himself on being elite on that end of the floor.

The Nuggets don’t exactly have anyone with the mindset and ability to take on the opposing team’s best player like we’ve seen Tucker do in the past. In addition, they rank fifth in offensive efficiency and Tucker’s corner 3-point shooting would only add to that, as Nuggets stars Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray could feed Tucker open looks.

The Nuggets make for a perfect destination for Tucker, as they are a veteran team that believes they are a contender, which is the scenario Tucker is looking to inherit at age 35. Acquiring both Oladipo and Tucker won’t be easy, as the Nuggets would have to give up draft capital and Will Barton, in addition to Harris, of course.

For the Rockets, this deal gives them more draft compensation, which has been a focus of general manager Rafael Stone, and Barton, who has the ability to opt out of the final year of his deal that will pay him $14.7 million next season, which he likely will exercise to receive a longer contract, not to mention have the ability to pick his own team.

If Barton decides to opt in, he’d be a trade target for next season, as he’d be on an expiring deal, which would be enticing for a contending team. On the floor Barton is a reliable scoring threat, as he’s averaging 11.6 points per game off the bench for Denver. In addition, Barton has improved his 3-point shooting in each of the last several years, from 34.2 percent in 2018-19 to 37.5 percent in 2019-20 to 40.4 percent this season, which is a career-best.

Acquiring Harris, Barton, and a draft pick for the expiring deals of Oladipo and Tucker would be a great return for the Rockets, and especially considering Barton’s contract, which would provide the franchise with flexibility down the road.

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