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Victor Oladipo trade now likely ahead of Thursday’s deadline

It sure looks like a Victor Oladipo trade from the Houston Rockets will happen ahead of Thursday’s deadline around the Association.

Rumors have come up regarding a potential move ever since he was acquired in the four-team trade from the Indiana Pacers that sent James Harden from Houston to the Brooklyn Nets.

An impending free agent, the 28-year-old former All-Star just recently turned down an extension offer from the rebuilding Rockets. General manager Rafael Stone and Co. now need to move off him ahead of the NBA trade deadline or face the possibility of losing the two-guard for nothing during free agency.

We now have some more information on a potential Victor Oladipo trade courtesy of ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. It’s rather interesting stuff.

“The Houston Rockets are progressing on several fronts in talks to trade guard Victor Oladipo, and there’s strong confidence they’ll execute a deal ahead of Thursday’s NBA trade deadline,” the NBA insider noted. “The Rockets are increasingly comfortable with the offers on Oladipo in the marketplace, which include young players and first-round pick combinations that the franchise believes are suitable returns to make a deal.”

This is the clearest indication yet that Oladipo will be calling another NBA city home over the short term. Interestingly enough, Wojnarowski also seemed to discount the New York Knicks and Miami Heat as potential suitors. They have been the teams talked about the most as it relates to a blockbuster deal.

Woj indicated that both teams are hesitant to give up assets for Oladipo ahead of the trade deadline when they have the cap room to sign him outright during free agency this coming summer. Rather, other teams who are hard-capped are those who remain in contention to land Oladipo.

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

So, who is in on a Victor Oladipo trade?

Victor Oladipo trade, NBA trade deadline
Jan 23, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Houston Rockets guard Victor Oladipo (7) warms up before the game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Houston Rockets at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Using the caveat Wojnarowski mentioned above, it seems like the list of potential suitors is narrowing. The Golden State Warriors have been mentioned as a potential landing spot for Oladipo over the past several weeks.

They fit into the group that is hard-capped, meaning a move for Oladipo now would enable Golden State to retain the guard in free agency by using his bird rights.

The same thing can be said for the likes of the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, Denver Nuggets, Dallas Mavericks and even potentially the Los Angeles Clippers.

It’s now all about who is willing to offer up the most for Oladipo in a trade. Golden State has that valuable future first-round pick from the Minnesota Timberwolves stemming from the blockbuster D’Angelo Russell and Andrew Wiggins trade last season. However, they are not willing to move off that for someone of Oladipo’s ilk.

Read More: This is how a Victor Oladipo trade to the Golden State Warriors might look

Said pick is top-three protected in 2021 and unprotected in 2022. It might be the most-valuable asset leading up to the NBA trade deadline. Golden State could potentially entice Houston with Kelly Oubre, stud young guard Jordan Poole and a future pick.

As for the Celtics, they are said to be active leading up to the trade deadline. Whether a Victor Oladipo trade is in the cards remains to be seen. General manager Danny Ainge seems to be targeting the frontcourt more than the backcourt right now. Boston has a huge trade exception stemming from the Gordon Hayward sign-and-trade with the Charlotte Hornets this past offseason. That’s also a valuable asset.

The Denver Nuggets are said to be looking for an upgrade at the two-guard spot next to Jamal Murray. They have reportedly put Gary Harris on the block. However, he’s unlikely to be of interest from Houston as the centerpiece in any deal. Meanwhile, Denver pushed back against dealing stud young forward Michael Porter Jr. in a trade for James Harden back in January. The team obviously isn’t moving him for Oladipo.

This is one of the major storylines to check in on as the 2021 NBA trade deadline quickly approaches. For now, it seems like Oladipo will be the biggest name moved.