The Houston Rockets are poised to be one of the primary sellers ahead of the NBA’s March 25th trade deadline, as they possess several assets that could help contending teams. The Rockets have P.J. Tucker, Sterling Brown, Ben McLemore, and John Wall, who could each make a difference for a team seeking to get over the hump.
Not to mention Eric Gordon and David Nwaba, who are both nursing injuries, although Nwaba has continued to play through his wrist injury, demonstrating a selfless, team-first mindset. One of the premier players on the trade market is Victor Oladipo, who is a valuable two-way player that is capable of contributing 20 points per game on the offensive end, in addition to providing stellar defense on the wing.
The Rockets acquired Oladipo in the James Harden trade, deciding to pass on the Philadelphia 76ers’ offer of Ben Simmons, which has led to internal debates amongst Rockets fans. Landing Oladipo was a questionable move, as it was reported that he wanted to join the Miami Heat almost as soon as he landed in Houston, per Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer.
Rockets GM Rafael Stone has stated that the team would love to have Oladipo for the long haul, although such statements have become commonplace among general managers in the NBA. Oladipo has averaged 20.1 points. 5.2 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 1.5 steals in 2020-21, which could yield a fruitful package, especially considering the fact that the top players, such as Bradley Beal, James Harden, and Giannis Antetokounmpo have all been removed from the market, for one reason or another.
The 2 teams with the most interest in Houston Rockets guard Victor Oladipo
Oladipo is set to become a free agent at the conclusion of the season, which is partly why he’s become one of the more coveted names on the market. If a team decides to make a move for him and he doesn’t fit the long-term vision, he can join another team in the offseason without said team being on the hook for his contract beyond this season.
Over the last month it’s been reported that multiple teams had interest in Oladipo, but the Rockets have been tasked with determining the best deal for the franchise, which has become complicated, due to the varying degree of draft capital that each team possesses. On Sunday, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype listed the teams with the most interest in Oladipo at this juncture.
“Several executives around the league who spoke with HoopsHype believe Rockets guard Victor Oladipo could be the biggest name moved by the trade deadline. He’s been linked to the Knicks and Heat most notably.”
It should come as no surprise that the New York Knicks and Miami Heat have interest in the former All-NBA guard, as each team is tasked with identifying ways to make it out of the Eastern Conference and dethroning the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets, who many have penciled in for the NBA Finals.
For the Houston Rockets the question will be regarding which package can give them more of an opportunity to contend in the future, not to mention which team is willing to send them more compensation.
We’ll have to see where Oladipo winds up within the next 10 days, but Rockets GM Rafael Stone will certainly make sure that whichever team lands the star guard will send the franchise the best package and/or chance of building for the future.