How big a contract will Victor Oladipo draw on the open market this summer?
It’s an interesting question. He’s one of the top players in what remains of the 2021 free agent market (Kahwi Leonard is the biggest name, but nobody around the league really believes he’s leaving the Clippers). However, Oladipo has never looked like an All-NBA player again after the ruptured quadriceps tendon that cost him a season.
The Rockets offered a two-year, $45.2 extension to Oladipo — the max they can offer at this time — but he shot it down, as expected, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of EPSN.
As expected, Oladipo is pursuing a longer-term deal, sources said, something that the collective bargaining agreement doesn’t allow the Rockets to offer him until the offseason.
Oladipo is in the final year of a four-year, $85 million contract, which leaves the Rockets with decisions to make prior to the March 25 trade deadline — including whether they’ll make him available in trade talks. The transitional state of the Rockets’ roster makes it likely they’ll listen to overtures as they continue to get to know Oladipo
Oladipo reportedly rejected two-years, $52 million from Indiana, a situation he reportedly wanted out of. He got his wish and was traded to Houston as part of the four-team James Harden trade.
Houston is likely to listen to trade offers for Oladipo at the deadline, but it may be difficult to find a team willing to make a compelling offer for a guy scoring 19.4 points a game but who has not been efficient, for example, shooting 32.4% from three for the season.
Which brings us back to the opening question: How big a contract will Victor Oladipo draw on the open market this summer?
A max offer for Oladipo from the Rockets would be four years for $151 million, or five years for $195 million. However, it’s not likely teams will offer more than the $25 million a year ballpark salary he’s already been offered in deals. Oladipo will want more years and more security — this contract will take him past his 30-year-old season and may well be his last big kick at the can. He will want all the money and all the years he can get.
Oladipo has long been linked to Miami in the past (he trains in the city in the offseason), and New York has had interested as well, according to Wojnarowski. Those teams have cap space this summer (as do others); if Houston feels it’s going to lose Oladipo for nothing next offseason, it has to consider a trade.
Expect a lot of Oladipo rumors approaching the deadline, but a team that trades for him will have to want to sign him next offseason. And how much will they want to pay?