Victor Oladipo Trade Rumors: Rockets Engaged in Talks on 'Several Fronts'

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMarch 24, 2021

Houston Rockets' Victor Oladipo, front, drives to the basket against Cleveland Cavaliers' Isaac Okoro in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, in Cleveland. The Cavaliers won 112-96. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Tony Dejak/Associated Press

The Houston Rockets are "engaged on several fronts in trade talks" regarding guard Victor Oladipo, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.  

Oladipo is out due to personal reasons for the Rockets' game against the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday. The absence is not basketball- or trade-related, per Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, who noted there is a "very good chance" Oladipo will find a new home before Thursday's deadline.

Oladipo has averaged 21.2 points, 5.0 assists and 4.8 rebounds for the Rockets, who added the ex-Indiana Pacers guard in a four-team blockbuster that saw James Harden head to the Brooklyn Nets.

The Miami Heat and New York Knicks are the likeliest teams to trade for Oladipo before the deadline, per Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic. However, both teams are "reluctant to offer premium packages," according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Any team trading for Oladipo assumes a certain risk level given that he can leave via free agency this summer. It's possible the team that lands him before the deadline could have him for only a few months during the regular season's stretch run and the playoffs.

Still, the Knicks and Heat have plenty of cap space for a potential Oladipo deal, presuming they're interested in signing him long-term. New York has the most cap space in the league, in fact, while Miami is fifth.

For now, Miami and New York are among a group of teams fighting for a top-four seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Heat and Knicks have matching 22-22 records that place them in a sixth-place tie. They are one half-game behind the Atlanta Hawks for fourth.