Houston Rocket who needs to step up #3: Victor Oladipo
When the Rockets opted to trade Caris LeVert for Victor Oladipo as part of the James Harden trade they were banking on Oladipo being a full-fledged All-Star. Thus far, he has been an abject disappointment and looks more like a G-Leaguer than an All-Star.
In 11 games for the Rockets, Oladipo is averaging 18.4 points on 38.6-percent shooting from the field and 29.9-percent from 3-point range. Those marks simply have to improve, especially from a player who is taking 17.9 shots per game.
If the Rockets want to make the playoffs, Oladipo will need to step it up but there is another reason for concern. Oladipo is on an expiring contract and has been the subject of persistent trade rumors.
Even after acquiring Oladipo the Rockets and his camp were treating his future with the franchise tentatively. If the Rockets want to trade Oladipo and receive a decent return they’ll need him to produce more and do it quickly.
The trade deadline is scheduled for March 25th and right now the Rockets will be hard-pressed to get more than a single first-round pick for Oladipo. It doesn’t make sense for Oladipo to try and play his way out of Houston because at $21 million no team is going to trade for him if he’s performing poorly.
As much as the Rockets need Oladipo to step it up, he may need it more. He’s in a contract year and has the chance to be swung to a contender with their eyes on the NBA Finals.
If Oladipo wants to play for a championship and earn a massive pay-day in free agency he needs to find his shooting stroke. There’s an All-Star player still in Oladipo but he needs to step it up to find it.
Next: Rocket #2