Reason #1. Oladipo doesn’t want to play for the Houston Rockets long-term
Perhaps the most obvious reason why Oladipo declined the Houston Rockets’ extension is simply because he doesn’t want to be in Houston. This should also come as no surprise, as the Rockets appear to be tanking, as they’ve lost twelve consecutive games and are almost certainly headed for a thirteenth loss on Wednesday, when James Harden and the Brooklyn Nets come to town.
ESPN’s Kirk Goldsberry provided further context on the notion that Oladipo may not want to be in Houston for the long haul.
“Maybe he just doesn’t want to play in Houston. He doesn’t want to be there, they’ve lost 12 in a row. Why would I want to just sign up for two more years?
There’s going to be some market for me. Why do I have to commit to the Houston Rockets right now in the middle of this terrible stretch of basketball?
Somebody out there is going to look at his numbers those first two years in Indiana where he was an All-Star scoring 20+ at an efficient rate. Really athletic player and say yeah he’s still only 28 or 29-years-old.
I think there’s more tread left on the tires here. This guy can be a really good player again.”
Oladipo surely didn’t want to be on a lottery-bound team in his first full season following an injury to his lower extremities. In fact, it was reported that Oladipo didn’t want to be in Houston on the day that he was dealt to the Rockets, so that surely hasn’t changed following the Rockets’ 5-9 record with him on the floor.
The good thing is that this would be fairly easy to solve, as the Rockets could simply deal him in a trade, especially considering the market that Oladipo has, with the Denver Nuggets, Miami Heat, and New York Knicks being interested in his services, among others.
Regardless of why Oladipo rejected the Rockets’ offer, the move was the best for him, as it almost assures that he will be moved. In addition, moving him would be best for the Houston Rockets, as it would allow the Rockets to get compensation for a player that doesn’t want to be with the franchise, in addition to allowing them to use the cap room on another player (or players).