When the Houston Rockets landed Victor Oladipo, as part of the James Harden trade, the immediate belief was that Oladipo would be headed to the trading block. After a disappointing start to his Rockets’ career, Oladipo’s name has been all over the rumor mill, but so far nothing has materialized.
Oladipo was once an All-NBA player but after a serious quad tendon injury in 2018-19 his stock around the league has fallen like it’s Black Tuesday and, apparently, the Rockets have been oblivious. The Rockets and Warriors were reportedly in trade conversations over Oladipo but the deal went nowhere because the Rockets were asking for either James Wiseman or Minnesota’s 2021 first-round pick.
The Rockets are looking to extract a premium for a rental who hasn’t shown that he is a legitimate All-Star in the years since he suffered an injury. While many players are able to come back after serious injuries, it is never a guarantee and the list of players who are never the same is as long as the list of those that come back as spritely as if they’re returning from sabbatical.
Houston Rockets: What’s the right price for Victor Oladipo?
As long as the trade deadline hasn’t passed the Rockets are well within their rights to try and get the most value possible in an Oladipo trade but if their price doesn’t drop then Oladipo will surely finish the season in Houston. A market for Oladipo has materialized and been there for quite some time, the Rockets have just been operating in a different reality.
Oladipo is on an expiring contract, has shot poorly from the field, and his $21 million salary makes acquiring him a headache. To clear enough cap space to fit Oladipo and his contract into a roster a team would likely have to off-load quality players.
The Rockets asking for premium draft-picks on top of that makes the deal a non-starter for most franchises. If the Rockets want to move Oladipo before the deadline they’ll need to drop their asking price and try to identify players who they can take back for salary purposes that might have some hidden value.
The market for Oladipo will remain frosty as long as the Rockets value him like an actual All-Star. Oladipo is a solid player on a large and expiring contract, when the Rockets value him as such, he’ll have a robust market, but time is running out.