NBA Rumors: Execs Feel Victor Oladipo Could Be Biggest Name Traded at Deadline

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 14, 2021

Houston Rockets guard Victor Oladipo (7) walks on the court before a game against the Memphis Grizzlies in Houston, Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021. (Troy Taormina/Pool Photo via AP)
Troy Taormina/Associated Press

Of all the big names around the NBA reportedly on the trading block, Houston Rockets wing Victor Oladipo may be the most likely to switch addresses.

According to Michael Scotto of Hoops Hype, "several executives" around the NBA "believe ... Oladipo could be the biggest name moved by the trade deadline."

Executives who've spoken to Houston added that young center Christian Wood is "the only player on the Rockets that's as close to untouchable as possible."

Oladipo' availability is no surprise. At 28, he isn't exactly on the rebuilding timeline that the Rockets found themselves on after trading James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets. And he reportedly already turned down a two-year, $45.2 million maximum contract extension this season, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski

Woj added that Oladipo is "pursuing a longer-term deal, sources said, something that the collective bargaining agreement doesn't allow the Rockets to offer him until the offseason."

Because he's also in the last year of his contract, the Rockets will want to get some assets for him before he hits free agency. It also means, however, that they are unlikely to command a king's ransom in a deal. 

Oladipo is averaging 20.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.5 steals in 25 total games this season between the Rockets and Indiana Pacers, though he's shooting just 39.6 percent from the field and 32.3 percent from three.

He's never quite replicated his excellent 2017-18 season (23.1 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 4.3 APG, 2.4 SPG, 47.7 percent from the field, 37.1 percent from three) that saw him make an All-Star team and All-NBA Third Team.

Injuries have played a major part, which will be the other worry for teams potentially eying Oladipo. There's the uncertainty of him leaving in free agency, but there are also concerns that the injury bug will bite again. 

Regardless, it seems Houston will test the market with the veteran wing, but it remains to be seen what sort of assets it could get in return.