On Wednesday, the news broke that former NBA MVP James Harden had been traded to the Brooklyn Nets in a multiteam deal. There are several moving parts to this trade including four different teams and the exchange of future draft picks.
The blockbuster deal includes several players across the NBA. While Houston and Brooklyn are at the center of the trade, Cleveland and Indiana also got their hands in the mix. The Nets gave Houston a deal that includes several draft picks and contains Caris LeVert, who then was traded to the Pacers for Victor Oladipo. The Nets also acquired Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince from the Cavs, while the Rockets gained Cleveland guard Dante Exum and Rodions Kurucs from the Nets.
Another key component of the deal is future draft picks. Houston gains Brooklyn’s three first-round picks in 2022, 2024 and 2026. Additionally, the Rockets also obtain Cleveland’s 2022 first-round pick, but Houston is giving the Pacers a 2023 second-round pick.
Bad ending in Houston
Trade rumors have been circulating for some time before Wednesday’s announcement. The Rockets entered the season with plenty of optimism despite the trade requests from the California native. Following Tuesday night’s 17-point loss to the Lakers, James Harden was adamant about what kind of team he wants to play for. His basic message–the rockets simply were not good enough.
The Rockets had lost four of their last five, marking the end of Harden’s time there. Despite the frustrating finish, the 6’5 point guard’s career at Houston was memorable. The Rockets reached the playoff seven of the eight seasons with Harden, finishing just one win away from the Finals in 2018.
Harden and Durant together again
The Brooklyn Nets’ playoff odds drastically changed after the trade rumors broke. The NBA betting odds reacted with sportsbooks shifting the Nets from +275 to +135 to win the East. Additionally, the Nets skyrocketed to +275 from +650.
The main culprit for this jump in odd is the “Big Three,” all wearing Nets uniforms. Harden, reuniting with former Oklahoma City Thunder teammate Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, pose a huge threat in winning the East.
Nets are ready to make the league beg for mercy pic.twitter.com/QgBwkUodxV
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 13, 2021
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Durant pushed to have Harden join him in Brooklyn.
All three contracts run through next season giving the Rockets the next couple of season to win a championship. Nonetheless, all three have the opportunity to continue with Houston in the 2022-2023 season. Harden’s is due $41.3 million this season and $44.3 million next season.
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