Boost: Flipping Victor Oladipo into a high-level contributor
Victor Oladipo instantly became the Houston Rockets' biggest trade asset almost immediately after he was acquired in October, in a deal that saw the Rockets rid themselves of Kevin Porter Jr., who found himself in legal troubles. Oladipo's value is unrelated to any of his capabilities on the hardwood, but rather his contract status, as it was known that he was expected to miss the 2023-24 season in its entirety.
Oladipo is in the final year of his contract and carries a $9.5 million salary in 2023-24. That contract, combined with the Rockets' stock of draft capital, could land the Rockets a high-level contributor and fringe star player, which is exactly what they're reportedly hoping to do.
There's a good list of players that can be acquired with Oladipo's contract and it could be the key to the Rockets addressing their 3-point woes and/or their lack of defense in the low post. If the Rockets aren't able to turn Oladipo's contract into a positive, the trade would've essentially have been a waste, as they'd lose him for nothing.