1. Victor Oladipo
The Rockets dumped Kevin Porter Jr. for Oladipo knowing the two-time All-Star was likely out for the season. He had another knee surgery, but Houston was eager to pick up his $9.4 million expiring salary as a deadline trade chip.
Oladipo has little value around the league, but he could be a key matching salary. The Rockets have likely been exploring deals for months and will continue to do so until the final buzzer in February. They want to maximize their roster in hopes of getting back to the playoffs. Houston cannot do that without trading Victor Oladipo.
Who can the Rockets get in return? It depends on what the front office is willing to put in the package. Adding a young talent like Jalen Green or Jabari Smith Jr. with matching salary and draft capital could net Houston an All-Star. There is currently no unhappy superstar on the trade block, but multiple second-tier will be available. Do the Rockets hunt for one or try to add role players in hopes of improving their depth?
There figures to be plenty of activity ahead of the Feb. 8 deadline, especially with multiple teams over the second tax apron viewing this as their final chance to upgrade their roster. Expect fireworks, and do not be surprised to see the Houston Rockets get involved in the action.