Update: The trade is final. The Beard is now a NJ Net. Do you think the Nets will win a championship with Harden, Irving and Durant?
Houston will acquire Victor Oladipo, Dante Exum, Rodions Kurucs, four first-round picks and four first-round pick swaps in the four-team deal, which also includes the Indiana Pacers and Cleveland Cavaliers, per Wojnarowski and The Athletic’s Shams Charania. Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince will be sent from Brooklyn to Cleveland. In return for Oladipo, the Pacers will receive Caris LeVert and a second-round pick.
The four draft picks and the pick swaps are all unprotected, according to Charania. One of the picks going to Houston reportedly includes the 2022 first-round pick Cleveland previously acquired from the Milwaukee Bucks. The Cavaliers are also sending a 2024 second-round pick to the Nets in the four-team trade.
The deal sends Harden to his preferred trade destination. In Brooklyn, he will be reunited with former Oklahoma City Thunder teammate Kevin Durant and join a backcourt that includes All-Star Kyrie Irving. The trio of All-NBA-caliber stars, including two former MVPs, make the Nets an Eastern Conference favorite.
Following a disappointing second-round playoff exit, Rockets co-stars Harden and Russell Westbrook requested trades just one season into a partnership both had pushed for. Houston granted Westbrook’s wish at the start of December, sending him to the Washington Wizards for John Wall and a first-round pick.
Rockets want to trade James Harden before start of season. What team will he fit best with? Who do you think the Beard should play for next?
James Harden is under contract with the Houston Rockets for two more seasons, which means there is no reason they have to rush to trade the former NBA MVP. The team may not want the situation dragging on much longer, however.
During an appearance on “Get Up!” Friday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski would not rule out the Rockets trading Harden before the start of the regular season on Wednesday. He said Houston would like to move on “sooner than later.
“Houston would like to get this done sooner than later,” Wojnarowski said. “This is a pall over the entire organization and their new head coach Stephen Silas as he tries to implement his program there. But, they’ve got to find the right deal. This is too important for their organization long-term.”
All indications have been that the Rockets have placed a massive asking price on Harden. Most teams are unwilling to meet it at this time, though the Philadelphia 76ers are apparently willing to trade one of their star players as part of a potential Harden deal.
NBA superstars typically get their way when they decide they want to be traded. Harden knows he would only hurt his own trade value if he bashes the team publicly, but we’ve seen that happen with Anthony Davis and others. Considering he missed workouts because he was off partying around the country, we wouldn’t rule out Harden eventually turning up the heat on Houston.