How Victor Oladipo’s Stock Became the Most Volatile in the League

By: Evan M. Siegel

The NBA trade deadline often leaves fans of all franchises across the league shaking their heads wondering, “How did that cost so little?” Potentially they were left asking, “Couldn’t we have gotten in on that one?” This deadline season was no different. The Miami Heat were among the most active teams, swinging several impressive deals in the process. One such deal was their poaching of Victor Oladipo away from the Houston Rockets.

The Heat managed to send only Avery Bradley, Kelly Olynyk, and one pick swap to the Rockets for Oladipo’s expiring contract. Olynyk and Bradley will almost surely be useless to the Rockets, who were clearly happy to receive nearly anything at all in return for what was once a key part of the James Harden trade. In a very short amount of time, Oladipo’s value has completely cratered despite being a part of multiple all-star teams and becoming one of the league’s most exciting rising stars after arriving in Indiana.

It is a fascinating case study in how one player can see his fortunes change so drastically after being offered extensions by two different teams. Both the Rockets and Pacers offered him fairly lucrative contracts that would have made him among the higher-paid players across the league at his position. Now, he has a chance to recoup some of that value for a team that will not only surely be in the playoffs, but will feature him as a priority defender on some of the conference’s most difficult offensive weapons. The Heat will also be all over national television in ways Oladipo never would have been in Houston, meaning his exposure will rise substantially.

Similarly to Andre Drummond, simply being under the spotlight more will do Oladipo well as he tries to stabilize his career after being traded for the fourth time.