- Rockets guard Victor Oladipo has already been traded once this season
- Set to become a free agent, another Oladipo trade is possible
- Here are several possible trades for the former Pacers guard
The NBA was a league of superstar duos just a year prior.
In the wake of James Harden’s move to Brooklyn, two superstars might not be enough to win it all anymore, and a few teams may want to adjust.
Houston, we’ve got a problem
Enter Victor Oladipo and the Houston Rockets. As it stands, they’re a relatively decent team on paper, all things considered. They’ve got a mix of seasoned veterans and young talent that don’t quite fit within each other’s timelines. With how they’ve been playing, though, it’s tough to imagine them achieving any significant degree of postseason success. As of this writing, they’re 10th in the West with a 8-9 win-loss record.
Though Oladipo has only played five games for Houston since his arrival, he’s churning out the best production of his career. He’s averaging 22.3 points, 4.0 boards, and 6.0 assists, albeit on his worst efficiency yet with abysmal 39/30/77 shooting splits.
It’s yet unclear what the plan in Houston post-Harden is. Per Kevin O’ Connor of The Ringer, Houston’s front office could still be open to flipping their newest acquisition for more draft capital. Whether the acquisition of Oladipo is meant to add another trade piece or not remains to be seen, but it’s possible.
Rockets management made it clear very early on they want a franchise cornerstone, youth, or picks return in exchange for the former MVP. That direction doesn’t seem like it’s about to change moving forward.
Here are a few trade scenarios Houston could consider if they decide to offload Oladipo.
Team up with Embiid and Simmons
76ers get: Victor Oladipo
The Philadelphia 76ers sit comfortably atop the East right now. Joel Embiid is playing like an MVP, and they have all the momentum going their way. They’ve clearly decided to keep their duo of Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid intact, which suggests they might be looking at another title run.
With Simmons’ pronounced decline from past performances, another scorer could change that. If Philadelphia can finagle a third star like they did with Jimmy Butler, their title chances would dramatically increase.
They certainly have the assets to pull off a trade. They were among the teams in prime position to land Harden. Bradley Beal’s name has also come up for them in trade rumors. While the rather injury-prone Oladipo won’t provide the same firepower, he comes close for much cheaper.
This check ticks off a number of needs for both teams. Oladipo is a borderline All-Star who can elevate this Sixers team into a team to beat in a competitive Eastern Conference. In exchange, the Rockets get back a competent offensive player in Harris, a Sixth Man of the Year candidate and 40% three-point shooter in Milton, and the young and defensively versatile Thybulle.
Get Miami back on track
Heat get: Victor Oladipo, PJ Tucker
Miami’s slump is all-around. They’re 24th in offensive rating, 22nd in defensive rating, and an unbelievable 27th in net rating. With their 6-12 record at the 13th spot in the East, they don’t look like a team coming off a finals trip. They’re the farthest a team could be to gunning for one, and it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what went wrong for them.
The Miami Heat were a Finals team just a few months ago. Since then, they’ve looked nothing like the team that took out the Bucks and the Celtics. The loss of Jae Crowder might have been too costly, while Tyler Herro has yet to build on the momentum he showed his freshman season. In the long term, Miami had to restructure its plans for the future with Antetokounmpo locked up in Milwaukee. They’ll have to look elsewhere for their third star.
Oladipo is a legitimate two-way player capable of clamping down on his matchup and getting a bucket on the other end. Having Oladipo and Butler together on the wings would be huge.
Despite his age, Tucker is a net positive on both ends. He showed last season that he could still stroke the ball from deep as a versatile small-ball center. This late in his career, he has a wealth of playoff experience that makes him a winning player who would benefit most contending teams.
Getting Oladipo allows Herro to slot back into the team’s bench unit alongside Dragic. This gives the Heat another scoring gear to keep the defense on its toes when Butler and Bam sit. If the Heat want to salvage their season and get back to where they were, shooting for the fences with Oladipo should be on the table.
Form a big 3 with Doncic and Porzingis
Dallas gets: Victor Oladipo
In a Western Conference dominated by the Los Angeles teams, Dallas is yet another team hunting for a third star to keep their title hopes alive. They led a historically efficient offense en route to their 7th seed finish, which saw them steal two games from Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers before bowing out in the first round.
They took steps to improve their defense in the offseason by trading for Josh Richardson. Adding another two-way wing into the fray would instantly put them in the same league as the LA teams. It’s tough to see many teams matching up well against Doncic, Oladipo, Richardson, and Porzingis.
Fortunately, Dallas has the youth and the picks to offer Houston if they decide to pursue such a transaction. An assortment of Tim Hardaway Jr., Josh Green, Jalen Brunson, and a 2025 first-round pick could be acceptable packages for Oladipo.
Hardaway and Brunson are productive guards who can either start or come off the bench. They’re team players who play hard-nosed defense and are well-rounded on offense. Green, on the other hand, has the makings of a competent role player if given the right opportunities. He’s a versatile, energetic wing averaging 3.6 points, 4 rebounds, and one assist in 20 minutes per game. The promise is there with much more room for growth.