Victor Oladipo trade imminent as Houston Rockets sit All-Star guard

By Vincent Frank

We could finally be nearing a Victor Oladipo trade after months of speculation. Mere hours away from the in-season NBA trade deadline, the Houston Rockets appear to be on the verge of moving the All-Star.

According to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, the Rockets have opted to sit Oladipo for Wednesday night’s game against the Charlotte Hornets. It’s the clearest indication yet that the 28-year-old guard will in fact be traded ahead of Thursday’s deadline.

It makes no sense for Houston to play Oladipo and risk injury. Remember, he turned down a contract extension from the team earlier in the season after being acquired from the Indiana Pacers in the four-team trade that sent James Harden to Brooklyn.

As an impending free agent, a freak injury Wednesday evening would have likely forced Houston to lose Oladipo for nothing during the summer. That’s a no-win situation for general manager Rafael Stone and Co.

Read More: NBA trade rumors: Latest updates leading up to the March 25 deadline

Who remains in on a Victor Oladipo trade?

NBA trade deadline: Victor Oladipo trade to the Golden State Warriors
Feb 26, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Houston Rockets guard Victor Oladipo (7) point as he makes a three point basket against the Toronto Raptors during the first half at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Recent reports indicated that two potential suitors in the New York Knicks and Miami Heat might have relaxed their interest in the former All-Star. Both Eastern Conference teams are going to have salary cap room to sign him outright during NBA free agency. Why give up assets for him now?

Recently, we’ve heard the Golden State Warriors linked to Oladipo. Whether that remains true following the latest Stephen Curry injury news remains to be seen. Golden State is comparable to a few other teams around the Association in that it might want to add a top-end player now because the squad won’t be able to target individuals like Oladipo with cap money in free agency.

There’s also an expectation that the Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers plan to be active ahead of the deadline. All three teams could use backcourt help. Of the trio, Los Angeles seemingly has the least to offer up a rebuilding Rockets squad.

The closer we get to the NBA trade deadline, the more other teams are going to view the Rockets as being in desperation mode. There’s very little chance that they will be able to re-sign on Oladipo. He has his eyes set on contenders like the Knicks and Heat back east.

Read More: 5 ideal Victor Oladipo trade scenarios

Meanwhile, Houston just recently snapped a 20-game losing streak (that was a thing). It simply can’t afford to lose the biggest trade chip the team acquired in the James Harden blockbuster for nothing.

That coupled with the news that the two-guard will sit for Wednesday’s game leads us to believe a Victor Oladipo trade is imminent.

Despite not being as efficient as in previous seasons, Oladipo still offers a ton for contending teams. He’s averaging 21.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 5.2 assists for the Rockets this year. The guard is also seen as a solid perimeter defender and can actually play three different positions while taking on a point guard role at times.

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