Victor Oladipo Trade Rumors: Knicks, Heat 'Reluctant' to Offer Premium Packages

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMarch 23, 2021

Houston Rockets' Victor Oladipo drives in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Tony Dejak/Associated Press

The New York Knicks and Miami Heat are reportedly "reluctant" to offer a premium trade package to the Houston Rockets for Victor Oladipo ahead of Thursday's deadline. 

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported a market has instead developed among capped-out teams offering packages that include a young player and/or a first-round draft pick(s).

Wojnarowski wrote it's "likely" the Rockets will trade Oladipo ahead of the deadline. Marc Berman of the New York Post reported the Knicks are only interested in an Oladipo trade if the two-time All-Star would commit to the franchise long term.  

Houston acquired Oladipo as part of the four-team deal that sent James Harden to Brooklyn, a move that seemed odd at the time and has only gotten worse as the Rockets season spirals out of control. The Rockets could have simply kept Caris LeVert—the exact type of player they're seemingly seeking in exchange for Oladipo—rather than trading for a veteran on an expiring contract.

The Knicks and Heat have been regularly mentioned among Oladipo's suitors if he hits the free-agency market, and both teams will have significant cap space this summer. However, it does not appear there's any urgency to get a deal done before the deadline—understandable given Oladipo's relatively shaky play this season.

The 28-year-old is averaging 20.8 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.7 assists this season, solid numbers that ultimately pale in comparison to his previous All-Star production. He has struggled to reach the heights of his 2017-18 season since rupturing his right quad tendon and undergoing surgery during the following campaign. As a result of his recovery, he also missed all but 19 games last season.

If the Rockets are able to recoup a LeVert-quality player in exchange for Oladipo, they should consider themselves lucky.