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Houston Rockets rumors: Victor Oladipo turns down massive contract extension offer

NBA rumors: Houston Rockets rumors trade Victor Oladipo trade
Jan 28, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Rockets guard Victor Oladipo (7) dribbles the ball during the third quarter against the Portland Trail Blazers at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Rockets rumors over the past several weeks have pointed in the direction of a Victor Oladipo trade after he was acquired in the James Harden four-team blockbuster.

It makes sense. Houston’s new general manager Rafael Stone is attempting to retool on the fly. Unfortunately, these Rockets appear headed for a full-scale rebuild. Houston sits at 11-20 on the season, the second-worst mark in the Western Conference.

Despite this, the Rockets are seemingly willing to commit to the 28-year-old Oladipo for the next couple years. Whether Oladipo is willing to commit to Houston remains to be seen.

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Houston Rockets star Victor Oladipo turns down two-year, $45.2 million contract offer

Houston Rockets rumors: Victor Oladipo contract
Feb 8, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Houston Rockets guard Victor Oladipo (7) brings the ball upcourt defended by Charlotte Hornets forward Caleb Martin (10) during the second quarter at Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

“Houston Rockets guard Victor Oladipo recently turned down a two-year, $45.2 million maximum contract extension, the most the franchise could offer him before summer free agency,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Sunday evening.

Given that he was just recently acquired, this is the most the Houston Rockets can offer Oladipo before the summer. They can offer him a four-year, $113 million extension ahead of the start of NBA free agency.

Once the market opens, Houston has the ability to offer Oladipo up to $195 million for five years. Hence, why it’s not too much of a surprise that Oladipo turned down the Rockets’ initial contract extension offer. However, this does bring into question the possibility of a deal ahead of the March 25 NBA trade deadline.

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“It is typical that teams become more focused in pursuing trades closer to the deadline, which is still a little less than four weeks away. Houston has yet to engage with teams on trade talks involving Oladipo,” Wojnarowski noted. “Nevertheless, Oladipo, 28, has the chance to become one of the best two-way players available at the trade deadline or free agency. Miami and New York are among teams who’ve had an interest in Oladipo, and both have the salary-cap space to sign him outright in the summer.”

There’s a chance Oladipo’s decision to turn down Houston’s extension offer expedites NBA trade rumors surrounding the former All-Star guard.

A former No. 2 overall pick of the Orlando Magic back in 2013, Oladipo has played pretty well since joining the Rockets. He’s averaging 18.9 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.8 assists on 46% shooting from inside the three-point line. Surely, there would be interest in the guard’s services should Houston put him on the block.

As for potential suitors, Woj points to both the Heat and Knicks. Each team could make sense for Oladipo, both over the short term and the long term.

Miami has been interested in Oladipo for some time now. It has assets to offer up the rebuilding Rockets, including stud young sharpshooter Duncan Robinson as well as draft compensation.

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The Knicks are in an even better situation with their own first-round pick in 2021 and the first-rounder the team acquired from the Dallas Mavericks in the Kristaps Porzingis trade.

New York also sits at a surprising 17-17 on the season and is currently the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. Teaming Oladipo up with All-Star Julius Randle and former NBA MVP Derrick Rose would be a boon.

As much as it is a risk for the Rockets to let Oladipo test free agency, it’s also a risk for a team attempting to acquire him. Will contenders give up a lot knowing that there’s a chance he will depart without any compensation once the market opens this summer? It’s a reasonable question.

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