NBA Rumors: Latest Trade Buzz on Victor Oladipo, Karl-Anthony Towns and More

Martin FennFeatured Columnist IMarch 1, 2021

NBA Rumors: Latest Trade Buzz on Victor Oladipo, Karl-Anthony Towns and More

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    Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

    The calendar has flipped to March, which means there are a little more than three weeks until the 2021 NBA trade deadline.

    There has not been a whole lot of movement since the James Harden blockbuster that sent "The Beard" to Brooklyn. The Knicks brought Derrick Rose back to New York, but the top contenders have yet to be aggressive in the buyers market.

    One team that could possibly wheel and deal ahead of the deadline is Houston. The Rockets are in transition in the post-Harden era and, at 11-20, they are a long shot to make the playoffs. Might this mean the likes of Victor Oladipo and P.J. Tucker will be on the move?

    Here is the latest on Oladipo, as well as the Knicks' interest in adding a star and a potential suitor for injured Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie.

Rockets Not Shopping Oladipo...Yet

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    Nell Redmond/Associated Press

    It was unknown how the Rockets would proceed when they acquired Oladipo from the Indiana Pacers as part of the Harden trade. However, it seems Houston had every intention of making him part of their future.

    Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported Oladipo turned down a two-year, $45.2 million extension offer from Houston, the most the Rockets could offer the two-time All-Star before the end of the season. With Oladipo set to hit free agency at the end of the year, it is possible the Rockets flip him if they do not have interest in offering a long-term contract.

    Wojnarowski reported the Rockets have yet to discuss the 28-year-old in trades, though that is subject to change. He also noted the Miami Heat and New York Knicks are two teams with prior interest and the cap space to sign Oladipo to a longer deal this summer.

    The former Indiana star has had a difficult time getting back to old form. Oladipo is averaging 18.9 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.8 assists in 13 games with the Rockets, but he is shooting under 40 percent from the field and under 30 percent from beyond the arc.

    Kelly Iko and Sam Amick of The Athletic reported Rockets head coach Stephen Silas played a key role in Houston's acquisition of Oladipo, adding Silas felt Oladipo could be part of the team's long-term vision. However, it has not been the best of partnerships, and Oladipo might prefer to start over somewhere else.

    It remains to be seen what kind of value Houston can get for Oladipo. He can be an elite two-way combo guard at his best, but he has not looked quite as efficient or comfortable since he first returned from the ruptured quad tendon he suffered in January of 2019.

    That said, it is certainly possible a team like the Heat or Knicks part with decent assets if they feel confident both in Oladipo's abilities as well as the potential to sign him to a long-term deal come this summer.

Thibs, Knicks Would Love to Add KAT

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    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    The Knicks have been one of the best surprises in the NBA this season. Will they make a blockbuster move at the deadline?

    Aside from possible interest in Oladipo, Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News reported on SNY's "The Putback with Ian Begley" the Knicks would love to trade for Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns. Bondy said Tom Thibodeau likes the idea of reuniting with KAT, whom he coached in Minnesota.

    There is no indication the Timberwolves would even be open to trading Towns. He is under contract through the 2023-24 season and is a transformative talent when healthy.

    The 25-year-old was averaging 22.5 points, 10.7 rebounds and 4.2 assists prior to Sunday's loss to the Phoenix Suns. He was shooting over 50 percent from the field, and nearly 40 percent from beyond the arc. Towns can stretch the floor and break opponents down off the dribble, plus he is polished in the post.

    Naturally, Thibodeau would love a cornerstone player like Towns guiding the franchise. "Thibs" has managed to mold the Knicks into one of the best defensive teams in the league, and he appears to be building a foundation in New York.

    But the T-Wolves are trying to build a foundation of their own. They are more likely to see how Towns responds to new head coach Chris Finch rather than making the rash decision to move him in the near future.

Pistons Interested in Spencer Dinwiddie

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    Chris Carlson/Associated Press

    Conventional wisdom says the Brooklyn Nets will be buyers ahead of the deadline, while the Detroit Pistons will likely be sellers.

    Only it appears the Pistons have interest in a player Brooklyn might deal before March 25.

    Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated (h/t Billy Reinhardt of SB Nation) said the Nets have been shopping injured combo guard Spencer Dinwiddie. Ian Begley of SNY reported Saturday the Pistons were among the teams to show interest in trading for the L.A. native.

    Dinwiddie suffered a partially torn ACL and is unlikely to return this season. He has a $12.3 million player option for next season, one he might be inclined to decline after a breakout 2019-20 campaign.

    Begley noted the Pistons have the cap space to sign Dinwiddie should he exercise his opt-out this summer. But while it might make sense for the Nets to get value from the 27-year-old, there is seemingly little incentive for the Pistons to make an aggressive play.

    Detroit is rebuilding and will eventually hand the keys to Killian Hayes in the backcourt. Additionally, Dinwiddie will be 28 in April, and he might be hungrier to sign with a team closer to contention. 

    Although Dinwiddie—pending a full recovery—could probably help his old team win in the more immediate picture, he does not appear to have the largest of roles in the team's long-term future.


    All stats obtained via Basketball Reference, unless otherwise noted.