- Victor Oladipo was traded to the Houston Rockets as part of the James Harden trade
- Oladipo is reportedly not happy in Houston and wants to join the Miami Heat
- Where will the former All-NBA guard be playing next season? See the odds below
As part of the James Harden trade, the Indiana Pacers and Houston Rockets swapped Victor Oladipo and Caris LeVert. Just a few months from free agency, Oladipo has changed teams and conferences, but he’s not happy.
Leaving one team on the periphery of NBA championship odds for another, Oladipo is playing to rebuild his value. His performances were good in the first few weeks of the season – could the Rockets trade him again at the deadline?
The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor reported that Oladipo “still hopes to find himself in Miami”. Is he destined to end up as Jimmy Butler’s running mate in South Beach?
Odds on Victor Oladipo Next Team for 2021-22 NBA Season
|Will Victor Oladipo Be on the Rockets Next Season?||Odds|
|Oladipo’s Next Team||Odds|
|New York Knicks||+350|
Odds as of Jan. 15th
Potential Miami Trade
The Miami Heat were involved in James Harden trade talks. They decided against a deal with such a high asking price. Miami and Houston’s front offices could be back in contact about Oladipo in a matter of weeks. The Rockets, if such talks happen, will not be able to ask for Tyler Herro, Precious Achiuwa and Duncan Robinson as they were for Harden.
Kelly Olynyk and Kendrick Nunn with a heavily protected first or a couple of seconds is a more reasonable return for a couple of months of Oladipo. Herro, Achiuwa and Robinson are likely all off the board.
What is deemed a fair trade will depend on how Oladipo performs. He was working through rust last season. While he has looked better in the early knockings of 2020-21, he is still a long way from the player that earned All-NBA honors after being traded to Indiana in the Paul George deal. Miami’s competitiveness will also impact what they are willing to give up.
Pat Riley is notoriously aggressive to chase a championship, but he’s not going to give up young talent for Oladipo if they are a long way off the Nets, Bucks and Sixers.
Might as Well Wait
A trade to the Heat seems very unlikely. Miami has cap space this offseason that was saved for Giannis Antetokounmpo. They can easily sign Oladipo to a sizeable contract if they want to, which would allow them to add him to this core without having to subtract key pieces.
If the former Thunder guard is as desperate to end up in Miami as Kevin O’Connor suggests, the Heat will be happy to wait. It’s important to retain their future picks given how many they already owe elsewhere. Herro, Robinson and Achiuwa are all important cogs in Erik Spoelstra’s rotation.
With cap space aplenty and several free agents already off the board, Oladipo will be one of the main attractions in the upcoming free agent class. Plenty of front offices will show interest if he keeps up his early season performances.
Other Oladipo Landing Spots
The Knicks, once again, have an enormous amount of cap space this offseason. Throwing a massive contract at Oladipo would be very Knicks, and if playing in a big market is what the former Pacer desires, it could be a tempting proposition.
Toronto and Philadelphia could get involved in the mid-season trade talks for Oladipo. Philly can send Danny Green and filler salary like Vincent Poirier to get a deal done. The Raps could send Norm Powell, Stanley Johnson and Patrick McCaw in a deal with a pick or two.
Toronto is in a similar spot to Miami, having been waiting for Giannis Antetokounmpo’s free agency. Like Miami, they have the cap space this offseason to make a push for Oladipo with Kyle Lowry heading for free agency.
The Rockets are hungry for redemption 💯
🔺 Victor Oladipo ruptured his quadriceps in 2019
🔺 Boogie Cousins tore his ACL in 2019 after suffering a ruptured Achilles the season before
🔺 John Wall ruptured his Achilles, almost lost his foot in recovery pic.twitter.com/Lrnx34yxJ0
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 14, 2021
If the Heat go in a different direction, the Raptors could quickly become a good option for Oladipo. His performances this season will determine the likelihood of a midseason trade. Perhaps the Rockets keep this group together and start to make a playoff push.
Should he hit free agency, it will come down to what he prioritizes. Would he take a lower salary to join the Heat? Does playing under one of the best coaches in the NBA make the Raptors a good fit? How excited would he be by Madison Square Garden?
Oladipo has been a popular topic in the NBA rumor mill for a long time. That’s not going to wane over the coming months.
Let's have fun and keep it civil.