One reason why is that guard Victor Oladipo and the team haven’t made a commitment to each other yet.
“The Houston Rockets are not actively shopping guard Victor Oladipo, but neither party has committed to a long-term marriage, a source close to the situation tells Bleacher Report,” wrote Jason Dumas.
Oladipo was acquired in the four-team trade that sent Harden to the Brooklyn Nets. At age 28, he’s still struggling to regain his old form after rupturing a quad tendon two seasons ago.
“Everyone is open-minded that it could be a good fit long-term, but it’s still too early of a commitment long-term for both sides,” said the source.
If Oladipo doesn’t fully regain his old form, or if the Rockets simply can’t come to terms with him on a new contract, he could become intriguing trade bait, and there seems to be interest in him around the NBA.
“As that deadline approaches and belief grows that a long commitment with the Rockets is unlikely, even more teams will believe they can acquire Oladipo, and not as a rental,” wrote Dumas. “The New York Knicks have already started mulling that idea. Given that New York struck out on the top-tier names in free agency over the last decade, Oladipo would be a great veteran to add to an impressionable locker room. He is known as one of the hardest workers in the league.”
At 11-10, the Rockets have somehow been able to play decent basketball following the Harden trade. With a resurgent John Wall and an upstart Christian Wood, they finally have some real hope for the future after the protracted Harden trade saga.