Earlier this week, the Houston Rockets traded guard Kevin Porter Jr. to the Oklahoma City Thunder, in exchange for Victor Oladipo, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, and a $4.5 million trade exception. The Rockets are reportedly not done making moves, as they are expected to use some of the assets they acquired from OKC to make yet another deal.
Oladipo has been commonly mentioned as a surefire guarantee to be dealt once more, which makes sense, due to his expiring $9.5 million salary, which could help Rockets GM Rafael Stone land a player that could offer immediate help to the team.
Oladipo will likely miss the season due to a torn patellar tendon suffered in April.
Robinson-Earl could find himself on the move again as well, according to Sam Vecenie of The Athletic. Vecenie theorized a deal involving JRE on his signature Game Theory podcast.
One potential taker in a Robinson-Earl deal
"If they do decide that he's the guy that they're gonna move on from, I think there is also a case for a number of teams to just offer Houston a second-round pick and give him a shot.
Like, Boston, I think, should do this. If Houston decides Robinson-Earl is the odd man out, Boston should...Boston should be calling Houston now to be like 'Hey, we'll give you a second-round pick for Robinson-Earl.
We could use one more body in the front court. It might fit for us.'"
Vecenie's counterpart, Bryce Simon, also mentioned another potential destination for Robinson-Earl, in the event that he's dealt by Houston.
Why the Detroit Pistons could call the Rockets about newest prospect
"As somebody that covers the Pistons, JRE is a guy that I was really interested in [before the trade]. Because the Thunder had 18 contracts on the books and I was just watching.
You know they've gotta cut three guys, the Pistons have an open roster spot, [Pistons GM] Troy Weaver used to be in Oklahoma City. It just makes too much sense that this is why Troy Weaver is keeping an open roster spot.
And JRE fit right into what the Pistons need, in terms of a four man, definitely off the bench. We talked about this, even in the starting lineup.
Now I don't know that he would come in and do that- they're going to give other guys chances.
But he fits a spot on the Pistons team that would really make sense."
"If somebody does want him, I would trade for him, because he's on $1.9 million this year, a club option for $1.9 million next year, and that deal is extendable then.
If he gets released and somebody signs him, you're restarting the clock. He does have value as a protected second-round pick, if he's getting moved for something.
I would do that, if Houston decides they don't want to keep him."
In other words, trading for Robinson-Earl would be more beneficial for any interested team, as signing him after a theoretical release would force a team to bring him in on a one-year deal and risk losing him in the 2024 offseason, in the event that he plays well enough to garner interest from another club.
That alone would make it worth it for the Rockets to deal him, as it gives him trade value for interested teams.