James Harden has had trade rumors about him going around all year. With Houston trading Westbrook last summer, Rockets were unsure of their future with their All NBA shooting guard. Harden started out the season wrong with his first three games averaging 37 points. The last 5 games he only averaged 17 points and it seemed like his tenure in Houston was coming to an end.
Some of the teams that were interested in trading for Harden but didn’t were the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, and the Philadelphia 76ers. The Philadelphia 76ers offered a package centered around Ben Simmons, a young All Star guard in the league.
It was reported by Brian Robb of Boston Sports Journal that the Celtics declined the Rockets trade offer to send Harden to the Celtics. Houston was asking Danny Ainge, General Manager of the Celtics, to send Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, and multiple 1st-round picks for a package including Harden.
James Harden will now be joining Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn and compete to represent the East in the Finals this year. The Nets gave up a heavy load to acquire the three time scoring champ from the Houston Rockets on Wednesday. The trade with Houston and Brooklyn also involved Indiana and Cleveland to make it a 4 team blockbuster trade.
Houston Rockets: Victor Oladipo, Dante Exum, Rodionus Kurucs, 3 BKN 1st-rounders (22, 24, 26), 1 MIL 1st-rounder (22, unprotected), 4 BKN 1st-round swaps (21, 23, 25, 27)
Brooklyn Nets: James Harden
Indiana Pacers: Carias LeVert, 2nd-rounder
Cleveland Cavaliers: Jarrett Allen, Taurean Prince
Brooklyn got the best player in the deal in Harden who is a former MVP. Alongside Irving and Durant, Harden will be a handful for any team to guard. The Houston Rockets are the real winners of this trade in my opinion. They shipped out a player on the team who didn’t want to make it work in Harden. Acquiring Oladipo gives them an All Star player and 4 1st-round picks for the future. Cavaliers traded for Jarrett Allen and plan to try to sign him to a long term deal seeing that Andre Drummond is on a 1 year deal. Cleveland shipped out next to nothing to steal the young and growing big man in Allen. Indiana swaps Oladipo and gets a young scoring star who might thrive on his own team in LeVert.
A lot of familiar faces in new places for the rest of the 2021 season. Will the three stars work out in Brooklyn? Will Houston be better without Harden and getting away from iso ball? Will LeVert strive as a player on his own team? We will figure out these questions at the end of this season.