Houston Rockets: Victor Oladipo is blinded by hubris
Victor Oladipo turning down the Rockets’ two-year extension is a massive miscalculation and gamble. For it to pay off, Oladipo needs to start performing at an elite level before the season ends, land a massive deal in a depressed free-agent market, and then play incredibly well as he enters his mid-30s to simply break even in comparison to taking the Rockets’ offer now and entering free-agency in two-years.
The problem that Oladipo is confronted with is one of ego and hubris. His 2017-18 season, where he made the All-NBA third team and All-Defensive first team was the coming-out party for an NBA superstar.
At only 25-years-old he looked poised to become one of the best two-way players in the league and land a massive contract at the conclusion of the four-year deal he signed in October of 2016. Everything was building to that inevitability until he ruptured a quadriceps tendon and lost the rest of the 2018-19 season and most of the 2019-20 season to the injury.
Since then, Olapido has played a total of 42 games, averaged 17.2 points, 3.8 assists, and 1.2 steals on 39.9-percent shooting from the field and 32.1-percent from 3-point range. The player that Oladipo once was may still remain but it has yet to fully reemerge.
The Rockets offered the player Oladipo is today a fair contract and were willing to pay a premium for the chance that the player he once was could come back. The deal being two-years also meant that if Oladipo did regain his superstar form he could still cash in on a massive deal.
The Rockets’ offer provided Oladipo financial security, the chance to rebuild his value, and the ability to reenter free agency at an age where he’ll still be able to land a long-term deal. Oladpio is betting that he can turn his value around in a few months and if he doesn’t, then he could spend the offseason looking at contracts that made the Rockets’ initial offer seem generous.