The wait is now over. Every NBA fan and news outlet can breathe a sigh of relief. James Harden needs to get a pair of black Timbs and a Moncler bubble coat to fit in Brooklyn. The James Harden Houston Rockets drama is officially over. Harden is headed to the Brooklyn Nets to team up with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. This was a massive blockbuster trade that occurred on a casual Wednesday night.
Before the season even started, every NBA fan could tell that Harden was fed up being in Houston. Him not showing up to training camp and not really being at some team practices, but then being seen on social media out and about with celebrity friends and friends’ birthday parties. When an organization trades away a peak all-star center (Clint Capela) to Atlanta and doesn’t get you help, that’ll do it, granted this off-season, the Rockets traded for John Wall looking to make a statement after being out with a gruesome injury, and DeMarcus Cousins, who is also trying to make a statement coming off an injury as well. Good pickups for the Rockets, but it may be too little too late of an effort to try and keep Harden satisfied to stay. I mean, Harden isn’t leaving because the team never won. It was probably frustrating going in the playoffs doing well, but always not getting over the hump of the 2nd round or Western Conference Finals. After some years, those results will begin to wear on a player, especially if you’re the franchise player.
The trade itself was massive; it was a four-way trade with the Rockets, Nets, Cavs, and Pacers.
- Nets Received: James Harden
- Pacers: Caris LeVert, and a 2nd-round pick
- Rockets: Victor Oladipo, Dante Exum, Rodionos Kurucs, three Nets firsts (’22, ’24, ’26), one Bucks first (’22), four nets first-round swaps (’21, ’23, ’25, ’27)
I wasn’t kidding when I said this was a huge trade deal. The Rockets are going to be in the lottery for a while. With a couple of suitable draft classes in the future, this is looking good for the Rockets organization. The Pacers giving up Oladipo was a puzzling move. I’m guessing they want to go younger and shake things up for a rebuild. And for the Cavs getting a center like Jarret Allen is a big boost after losing Tristan Thompson to the Celtics in free agency this summer. And Taurean Prince adds good bench depth for the Cavs at the SF position. When we look at the Nets and James Harden, that’s a different story.
With the Nets, there are a lot of what-if scenarios. Like, will KD stay healthy and play to his full potential all year? When will Kyrie show back up? To play games, given that he’s missed a handful of games due to personal reasons. Also, will Harden fit the system they have in place? The three stars are ball-dominant players.
That’s how they became the Allstars we know and love. So the big question is, how do three-ball dominant Allstars co-exist together on the floor to win games or a title? With a new coach in Steve Nash and on paper a pretty deep roster and bench, the Nets are looking good, but the task is controlling three different All-Star egos in one locker room. The Nets are trying to create a championship-caliber team, and this trade is a huge risk. This trade could be a great success for the Nets, or we are going to look back at this trade and ask ourselves why did this even happen in the first place.
In this whole transaction, I feel like the Rockets and Cavs won this trade. Both teams are trying to clean house and attempting to rebuild after a couple of years of not having the best luck. The NBA is reality tv in the most sense. There is drama happening 24/7, but you have to love it.