When the Houston Rockets acquired Victor Oladipo in January, questions existed regarding whether Oladipo would be with the franchise long-term. Oladipo is in the final year of a four-year $85 million contract that he signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2016.
It was reported that Oladipo and the Rockets were both getting to know one another ahead of the NBA’s March 25th trade deadline, and that the team’s success on the court could potentially factor into which direction the Rockets were going to take with Oladipo.
On Sunday’s episode of NBA Countdown, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Houston Rockets recently offered Oladipo a contract extension, which was rebuffed by Oladipo and his representation.
“Victor Oladipo, I’m told, declined Houston’s offer of a two-year $45 million extension. It’s not surprising Oladipo would turn that down. He wants a long-term deal, whether that’s in Houston or somewhere else.”
The news came as a shock to many Houston Rockets fans, as many questioned why the franchise would even make an offer, considering how he’s played in Houston. On Tuesday, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst explained the rationale behind the Rockets’ decision, on the Hoop Collective podcast.
NBA insider explains why the Houston Rockets offered Oladipo an extension
“This is really just a pro forma cap tip to just let everyone know that he’s going to be traded. Or they are going to try like hell to trade him.
They offered it to him because I think you have to do that. They didn’t expect him to take that and he wouldn’t have been expected to sign it.
He’s not having a great year. He hasn’t been great since he came back from his terrible knee surgery.
But the reason that they offered that and he turned it down is because it was sort of a palate cleanser before trading him. Because they don’t want to make it seem like they weren’t interested in him or that there was something wrong with him.
I think it’s almost a certainty that he gets traded.”
Oladipo’s decision to reject the extension was an intriguing one, as the offer would have paid him $22.5 million annually, which is a number many within the Houston Rockets’ fanbase believe he isn’t worth. As Windhorst explained, Oladipo’s decision essentially guarantees that he’ll be traded, as the Rockets would otherwise risk him leaving in free agency, without them getting anything in return.
As for Oladipo’s market, it’s been reported that the New York Knicks, Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks, and Denver Nuggets are among those interested in the former All-NBA guard, who has averaged 19 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 4.7 assists through 14 games in Houston.