In 2012, the Orlando Magic traded their franchise star Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers in what was about to become a rebuild for the franchise. Howard became a star in Orlando, but had grown unhappy with his situation. In the midst of their disappointment, emerged a 2013 second overall pick in Victor Oladipo. While Oladipo had yet to become an All-Star, he gave fans something to watch in the midst of their rebuild. He didn’t exactly help fans forget about the presence of Howard, but he signaled a new beginning and eventually fans would have to adjust. Over the course of three seasons, Oladipo scored nearly 16 points and four assists per game and eventually garnered interest from the rest of the league as a vital second or third option.
Four years later, the Oklahoma City Thunder did everything in their power to convince Kevin Durant to return to the team. Durant ultimately decided to move to the Golden State Warriors in one of the most infamous free agent signings in league history. This left Oladipo with the unfair task of replacing Durant as Westbrook’s new partner-in-crime in Oklahoma City. Oladipo spent just one season with the team, but once again averaged 16 points per contest.
The 2017 offseason saw another franchise cornerstone looking to relocate. At the time, Paul George was one the most widely-respected players in the NBA and was beloved in Indiana. George ultimately forced his way out of the organization, which meant only one thing: Insert Oladipo. He was the main return piece in a trade that brought George to Oklahoma City and put Oladipo in a position to once again fill in major shoes. This time, Oladipo was expected to lead a franchise as their cornerstone player and he relished the opportunity. In three seasons with the Pacers, he averaged over 20 points and four assists per game, while also being one of the main driving forces in getting the Pacers to three playoff appearances.
The past few seasons have been difficult on Oladipo, as he’s been hit with the injury bug and was only able to participate in 19 games last season. Duty calls once again for Oladipo in Houston, as another disgruntled franchise player in James Harden moved on from the Rockets. That could only mean one thing, right?
Along with a few other pieces, Oladipo is the focal point of a brand new Rockets roster. He will be joined by John Wall, Christian Wood, and DeMarcus Cousins among others. There are hardly any playoff aspirations, as the Rockets don’t seem to match up on paper to other contenders in the West. Still, Oladipo has thrived in every situation to this point.