NBA trade: The James Harden era in Houston is over, according to multiple reports. The Rockets reportedly have agreed to trade the former Kia NBA MVP to the Brooklyn Nets in a four-team deal that also involves the Cleveland Cavaliers and Indiana Pacers.
The Rockets reportedly will receive Victor Oladipo (from Indiana), Dante Exum, and Rodions Kurucs (from Cleveland), four future unprotected first-round picks, and four future drafts pick swaps in the trade.
The Pacers reportedly will acquire Caris LeVert (from Brooklyn) and a second-round pick in exchange for Oladipo.
The Cavaliers reportedly will receive Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince (from Brooklyn) for Exum, Kurucs, and draft compensation.
Harden — a 3-time NBA scoring champ — will join former teammate Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and coach Steve Nash with the Nets, who have their eyes set on their first trip to the NBA Finals since 2003.
Harden reportedly was disgruntled in Houston and he expressed his frustrations on Tuesday after the team’s loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, saying, in part, that the Rockets were “just not good enough.”
“I love this city,” Harden said. “I literally have done everything that I can. This situation is crazy. It’s something that I don’t think can be fixed.”
Harden finishes his tenure in Houston as the team’s all-time leader in assists, free throws, 3-pointers, and triple-doubles. He ranks second in points, fourth in minutes and sixth in games played. Over his 621 games in Houston, Harden averaged 29.6 points, 7.7 assists, 6.0 rebounds, and 1.8 steals.
The Rockets will replace Harden with Oladipo, who was selected with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. The two-time All-Star has averaged 20.0 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 4.2 assists over his first 9 games with Indiana this season.
Durant added that he and Harden were friends and that he had “heard the noise” regarding the trade rumors.
According to the latest NBA news, “Anybody can make up a story that gets traction,” he told reporters. “I was focused on rehab.“
While a potential superteam of Durant, Harden, and Kyrie Irving would be interesting. On one hand, no team in the NBA could parallel from a talent viewpoint. They would immediately be recognized as the title frontrunners.
KD on the rumors about him talking to James Harden about playing with the Nets: pic.twitter.com/lIcCQEVOqz
— Cassidy Hubbarth (@CassidyHubbarth) December 1, 2020
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NBA trade news: Would the Brooklyn Nets be able to handle all this star power?
The chemistry regarding the stars fitting together is more important than the talent itself. Durant, Harden, and Irving would be a controversial fit, at best.
Harden and Durant have experience playing together in their time with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Although, at that Harden was not a starter and came off the bench. He averaged 12.7 points per game across three seasons.
This version of Harden is an eight-time All-Star, three-time scoring champion, and the 2017-18 MVP.
The Nets could strengthen an interesting trade package for Harden that would likely be focused around players like Caris LeVert and Spencer Dinwiddie. There is still a strong debate to be made that Brooklyn would be better served to hold onto their roster depth.
There is still chemistry to be built in Brooklyn. The Nets are a work in progress with head coach Steve Nash and assistant coach Mike D’Antoni.