The Houston Rockets‘ season, in terms of playoff hopes, is essentially over. They’re on a double-digit losing streak and trying to find their identity after trading away James Harden. Bright spots, however, have been Christian Wood, Kevin Porter Jr., and Jae’Sean Tate. The future isn’t necessarily dreary, and they can continue to build by trading away Victor Oladipo before the deadline.
Victor Oladipo: Three Potential Trade Packages
New York Becomes Legitimate with Victor Oladipo
The Knicks are legit. They may not be championship contenders, but they’re finally a strong team that has to be taken seriously. Julius Randle has emerged into a stud, while young players like RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley are growing rapidly. Oladipo will further complement the team’s stingy defense as well as give them another scoring punch.
Oladipo is an impending free agent, giving Houston less leverage in a trade than normal. This haul is solid, however.
Toppin was just selected in the top-10 of last year’s NBA Draft. He has explosive athleticism and potential that has still to be unleashed. He’s available, however, due to Randle emerging as an All-Star in the same position. Ntilikina is an underrated defender. He may not offer much offensively, but he’s a valuable piece to have in a defensive rotation, especially a young one that looks solid in Houston. Lastly, the Rockets get the Mavericks’ first-round pick that is currently owned by the Knicks. That pick will most likely be outside of the lottery, but this upcoming draft is deep with talent.
Denver Goes All In
Denver is already a championship contender, but this move moves them even higher up the ladder. Adding a 20-plus point per game scorer and strong defender to a team with MVP candidate Nikola Jokic, explosive scorer Jamal Murray, and a growing young star Michael Porter is a formula for success. This team will improve their defense, which is much needed, while also keeping a powerful offensive attack.
Harris is a very solid “three-and-d” player, although a tad expensive for what he offers. With that being said, his skill set is valuable and Houston can opt to keep him or trade his expiring contract next season for more future assets. It’s still tough to get an understanding of Bol, but his height, length, and skill make him a player with tantalizing potential. Being in an environment with mostly young players, like that in Houston, can help him develop into a more common rotational player. Lastly, an added first-round pick is always a sweetener.
Miami Finally Gets Victor Oladipo
The Heat are in terrific form lately, so it may be hard to envision them making a big trade. With that being said, they’ve long been rumored as a landing spot for Oladipo. In a tough Eastern Conference, especially due to the emergence of the Brooklyn Nets, the Heat will have to improve if they want to make it all the way to the Finals again. Oladipo offers another terrific two-way player to pair with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. The two will still be complemented by players like Goran Dragic, Kendrick Nunn, and Tyler Herro. House is also a sleeper in this trade, as his wing play should mesh well in Miami’s system.
The piece that Houston wants here is Robinson. Perhaps they would prefer Herro, but it’s doubtful Miami gives him up. Robinson, however, is one of the league’s top three-point shooters. Houston will have enough cap space to extend him this summer, and his age fits in very well with the Rockets’ current timeline. Iguodala is here to make the salaries work, and it’s hard to envision him staying in Houston for the duration of his contract. Harkless is a solid defensive piece to add, although he has regressed over the years. The future first-round pick is a bonus and something Houston should ask for in any Oladipo trade negotiation.
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