According to ESPN’s Tim Bontemps, several executives around the league believe that Houston could flip Oladipo after acquiring him last month in the James Harden blockbuster trade. Looking at the Rockets’ recent stretch of success, moving the two-time All-Star might seem like a head-scratcher. They have won seven of their last nine games, asserting themselves as a juggernaut on the defensive end in that span.
After a slow start to the season dealing with the James Harden trade saga and a sizeable amount of COVID concerns that left their roster depleted, it seems like Houston has finally found its groove. Despite the adversity, the Rockets are currently 11-11 on the season, sitting in ninth place in the Western Conference standings. If they keep this roster intact, Houston could certainly make a push for the playoffs, but it seems that they could also be content with building for the future.
The Houston Rockets are shaping up to be sellers at the NBA’s trade deadline, and Victor Oladipo headlines potential trade targets.
Oladipo’s name had been swirling in trade rumors for months leading up to this season. However, after playing in just 55 regular-season games over the previous two seasons due to a ruptured quad tendon, opposing franchises were justifiably hesitant to make a move. Front offices wanted to take a wait-and-see approach before inquiring, and Oladipo has given them quite a bit to work with this year.
In 18 games split between the Indiana Pacers and Houston Rockets this season, Oladipo has averaged 19.7 points on .403/.331/.731 shooting splits, 5.2 rebounds, and 4.7 assists per game. Numbers like that could certainly be compelling for teams looking to push all their chips into the center of the table ahead of a title run. After collecting $21 million this season, Oladipo will enter unrestricted free agency this coming offseason, and that financial flexibility could also be intriguing for teams looking to rent his services or potentially extend him long-term.
With that in mind, here are three teams that should pursue Victor Oladipo before the NBA trade deadline on March 25.