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Victor Oladipo, Julius Randle, RJ Barrett, Tom Thibodeau, Knicks

Best trade the Knicks must offer Rockets for Victor Oladipo

Houston Rockets guard Victor Oladipo has already been traded once this season and is no stranger to moving around the league. With several teams surely slated to look into potentially trading for Oladipo in 2020-21, the surprisingly successful New York Knicks could be near the top of such a list. However, the Knicks should only pull the trigger on a trade to acquire Oladipo if the Rockets comply with New York’s wishes of not parting ways with too much young talent or a ton of future NBA Draft capital.

With Oladipo most recently heading from Indiana to Houston as superstar guard James Harden ultimately made his way to the Brooklyn Nets to solidify the now-infamous multi-team deal. The Rockets guard could very well be headed to his next NBA franchise ahead of the trade deadline as he remains in the thick of quite a few rumors.

Oladipo Would Help New York Immensely

In an ideal world, the Knicks would part ways with players like Kevin Knox, Austin Rivers, and veteran point guard Elfrid Payton. Of course, players won’t be the only aspects of this trade, though the Knicks parting ways with these players, in particular, would do wonders for the up-and-coming Eastern Conference team.

Knox has fallen all the way out of head coach Tom Thibodeau’s regular rotation, as has Rivers. On the other hand, Payton remains the team’s starting point guard but is currently on just a one-year deal. The Knicks are also employing the likes of Derrick Rose, Immanuel Quickley, and Alec Burks, who has been playing both point guard and shooting guard as of late.

Although these players are not necessarily game-changers for the Rockets, they are all lost-cost options that can help the team do exactly what it wants to do at this point of the year — lose games in order to improve its NBA Lottery position.

Knicks Can’t Offord to Give Draft Capital for Oladipo

The final component of this would-be deal is obviously future draft picks, something that the Knicks cannot overpay on regardless of what demands the Rockets make. Oladipo is due $21 million for the entirety of this season and is slated to be a free agent following in the off-season. Perhaps, the Knicks won’t have to give up one of the team’s two first-round picks in 2021 or even its first-rounder in 2022.

If the Knicks do indeed have to part ways with one of these first-round picks, they will have to make sure they come to terms on a new contract with Oladipo. The Knicks have plenty of second-round picks over the course of the next few seasons. If New York can swindle Houston into settling for a bundle of future second-rounders alongside the aforementioned trio of Knox, Rivers, and Payton, that would be ideal for them.

Oladipo would instantly give the Knicks a boost on the offensive end with the team’s playoff potential increasing by the day. Though New York has simply worked too hard to rebound from dismal play on an annual basis to ruin its young core and stable of first-round picks.