Getty Victor Oladipo, formerly of the Indiana Pacers, shoots around Bam Adebayo #13 of the Miami Heat.
This Wednesday was certainly far from your typical early-season hump day. You could say there was a bit of movement on the trade front.
Following a public display of disdain towards his own team the night prior, former league MVP James Harden was ultimately granted his wish, receiving a one-way ticket out of Houston. Harden headlined a blockbuster four-team trade that shipped him to Brooklyn to team up with the likes of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
With Harden jettisoned from Houston and now firmly in the rearview mirror of the previously linked-to Boston Celtics, one may think trade chatter surrounding the Cs would die down a bit.
Think again, as one of their very own has floated out a potential target for the Eastern Conference leaders. A target might we add, that likely hasn’t even unpacked his suitcase in his new city.
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Scalabrine: ‘I Would Keep My Eye On’ Victor Oladipo
James Harden wasn’t the only All-Star to be dealt on Wednesday. For unloading the disgruntled superstar, they yielded the services of two-time All-Star Victor Oladipo in return from Indiana. However, beloved Celtics champion and NBC Sports Boston’s Brian Scalabrine believes Oladipo could soon be on the move once again to a suitor that hits near to his heart.
“One guy I would keep my eye on is Victor Oladipo, who just got shipped off to Houston,” Scalabrine said of the newest member of the Rockets. “I think Houston wants to suck this year. I think they want to have a top-three pick, which is protected, and their pick is going to Oklahoma City if it falls outside of that. Victor Oladipo might be a guy the Celtics can go out there and get. They could use their trade exception, trade some young guys that are talented and go out there and I think, because he’s on an expiring contract, he fits in that mold of $20 million which is what the Celtics can spend right now without giving up a ton.”
Boston’s Trade Exception
The Rockets currently own a 3-6 record, sitting second to last in the Western Conference rankings, and don’t look to be making any major leaps forward in the near future. With a $28.5 million traded player exception in Boston’s back pocket (thanks to the Gordon Hayward trade), Scalabrine believes the Celtics could decide to take a swing on a player such as Oladipo.
“I think if they could make something happen with this trade exception, we could be going into a series with the Nets saying, ‘I like us on paper better than them.’ Right now as constructed, no. But it depends on what they do with this trade exception,” he said. “I can see how the Celtics could be in a position where we like our chances.”
Oladipo, still just 28-years-old, is averaging 20.0 ppg this season, his highest output since 2017-2018. The former All-Defensive First Team selection has also chipped in with 5.7 assists, 4.2 assists and 1.7 steals per game in nine games this year.
Oladipo would undoubtedly be an intriguing addition to a Celtics team looking for a title run. The question is, would Houston be willing to announce to the world they’re essentially mailing it in just a few months removed from holding legitimate title hopes.