Rumor: 2 teams that could pursue Rockets’ Victor Oladipo via trade or in free agency
Following the news that Victor Oladipo had turned down a two-year deal worth $45 million from the Houston Rockets, both the New York Knicks and the Miami Heat have emerged as two landing spots for the guard, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. While both franchises will have the means to sign Oladipo outright in free agency this upcoming summer, they could also choose to pursue him via trade before the deadline on March 25 if the Rockets look to move on.
Though Oladipo and his camp turned down Houston’s offer to pursue a long-term deal, there does remain the possibility that the Rockets would be willing to guarantee additional years down the line. According to the CBA, the max offer that Oladipo could receive from the Rockets was two years since the guard had not accrued enough service time with the organization following his trade to the team last month.
However, if Houston does decline the opportunity to offer Oladipo the type of security he is looking for, both the Heat and Knicks will be more than willing to make up the difference.
A potential pursuit of Oladipo leading up to the trade deadline or during free agency would not be the first time the Knicks have targeted the guard. Going back to last season when rumors first began of Oladipo’s restlessness in Indiana, New York was among the teams to engage the Pacers about a potential trade. However, the Knicks were ultimately unable to reach an agreement with the team before Oladipo’s trade to Houston. In getting a second chance to acquire the guard, New York is unlikely to pass on the opportunity to acquire the type of two-way player that Tom Thibodeau is known to value.
As for the Heat, an acquisition of Oladipo would allow the team to put together one of the most versatile defensive lineups in the NBA. Already anchored by Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, the addition of Oladipo would secure the Heat’s spot among the top-tier contenders of the Eastern Conference.
It may only be February, but the Victor Oladipo sweepstakes have already begun.