James Harden Trade Winners and Losers: Attack on the Nets Could Be Unstoppable; Rockets start over with huge transport

The bomb that everyone in the NBA was waiting to explode finally exploded on Wednesday, as the Brooklyn Nets acquired James Harden from the Houston Rockets in a seven-player, four-team deal that dramatically changes the landscape of the league. . Harden joins Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn, while the Rockets walk away with Victor Oladipo of the Indiana Pacers and a treasure trove of future first-round picks from the Nets.

This deal has massive ripple effects due to the number of players involved and the extent of Harden’s ability to change the franchise. Here’s a look at some of the harden trade winners and losers, but first let’s go over the details:

  • Rockets get: Victor Oladipo, Rodions Kurucs, Dante Exum, four unprotected first-round picks (Brooklyn 2022, 2024 and 2026, Milwaukee 2022) and four unprotected first-round picks (2021, 2023, 2025, 2027).
  • The fillets get: James harden
  • Stimulators get: Caris LeVert, 2023 second-round pick (from Houston)
  • The riders get: Jarrett Allen, Prince of Taurus

Winner: James Harden

You don’t agree with his tactics, but James Harden got what he wanted. He’s en route to Brooklyn to play with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving on what becomes the alleged Eastern Conference favorite. Brooklyn has been Harden’s first favorite destination, so he’s unlikely to regret the way he handled the start of the season in Houston. It will be intriguing to see how Harden adapts his attacking style to accommodate Durant, Irving and the Nets, but with three of the league’s top scorers on a squad, the Nets will be a fixture for the foreseeable future. .

Winner: Brooklyn Nets

The Nets now have three top 20 players on the same roster, making them even more title contenders than they already were. It really is that easy. The depth has taken a hit, but Steve Nash is going to tinker with the rotations to make something work, and as our James Herbert detailed, the front office still has options to improve the list. If the Nets stay healthy, they could have the best offense in NBA history (sounds hyperbolic, but the Dallas Mavericks did it last season with much less star power). Brooklyn’s odds of winning the 2020-21 title, according to SportsLine, nearly doubled upon acquiring Harden. It makes you a winner every day of the week.

The Sixers were said to have been in an arms race with the Nets for Harden, and they ended up losing out. Not only does this mean they’re missing out on adding Harden to a team that got off to a 7-1 start before the roster was exhausted by health and safety protocols, but they also potentially have to count. with Durant-Harden-Irving Nets in the Eastern Conference playoffs. There’s the added wrinkle that Ben Simmons certainly now knows he was made available for talks, which could upset a 76ers squad that have experienced noted chemistry issues in the past.

Winner / Loser: Steve Nash

For one thing, Nash could end up winning a title in his first year as a head coach. On the other hand, he will need to carefully navigate the strong and unique personalities of Harden, Durant and Irving for this season and beyond. It will be interesting to see what things look like after their first extended losing streak. Good luck my friend.

Winner: Houston Rockets

The Rockets would likely be considered winners just for driving Harden out of town so they could finally focus on basketball, but they also picked a legitimate goal for their All-NBA guard. Our Sam Quinn rated them pretty harshly, suggesting they should have pulled the trigger for Simmons, but the Rockets loaded themselves up for the future with basically any first-round picks the Nets could trade, which places them in a position similar to that of the New Orleans Pelicans. and Oklahoma City Thunder in terms of future assets.

They also acquired Victor Oladipo, who is sidelined two years from an All-Star season and is expected to help them in the short term. He’s a free agent after this season, but you’d have to think that the Rockets intend to sign him, otherwise they would have just taken LeVert as an asset. John Wall, Victor Oladipo, Christian Wood and DeMarcus Cousins ​​should be enough to at least stay competitive this season, so Houston can reassess its leadership later.

You can choose whether the Philly package would have put the Rockets in a better position, but there’s no denying that they’re in an infinitely better position than they were a few days ago, making them a winner.

Loser: City of Houston

Houston fans have been thrilled with one of the most forward-thinking and successful franchises in the NBA since Harden arrived ahead of the 2012-13 season. The Rockets should still be competitive, but the days of seasons over 55 wins are likely in the rearview mirror for a while. Depending on how the front office unfolds, the Rockets could even have a complete rebuild in a few seasons. Houston fans have faithfully embraced their franchise as they angered a lot of people around the world, so it’s a shame to see their moment in the limelight come to an end.

Winner: Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavs have made some good sneaky moves this offseason, and they’ve pulled off another by fitting in that deal and walking away with Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince in the process. Allen had a breakout season for the Nets, with average career highs in points (11.2), rebounds (10.4) and blocks (1.6), and all Cleveland gave up in the deal was Dante. Exum, who averaged less than four points in 19 minutes per game. With Andre Drummond a free agent this offseason, they can advance with a young core of Allen, Collin Sexton, Darius Garland and Isaac Okoro. Not bad for a franchise under reconstruction.

Loser: Taurean Prince

Although he left something to be desired, Prince played at least a significant role in a team with NBA championship hopes. Now he will join the Cavaliers, who will likely be out of the playoff hunt for most of the season. Over time, the Cavs will want to give as many minutes as possible to developing young players, which means Prince could find himself racking up DNP-CDs for a good chunk of the season. No one is going to feel sorry for a guy who earns $ 13 million a year, but it’s certainly not an ideal situation for Prince.

Winner: Indiana Pacers

Much like the Cavs, the Pacers were an unexpected part of that deal and ended up getting Caris LeVert and a second-round pick for Oladipo, who has apparently been somewhat unhappy in Indiana. Particularly with the emergence of Malcolm Brogdon and Domantas Sabonis over the past two seasons, Oladipo’s days in Indiana seemed numbered, so it was wise for them to get a quality player like LeVert, signed until in 2023, rather than risk Oladipo leaving for free. agency this offseason.

Winner: Caris LeVert

Even Steve Nash admitted LeVert is a top NBA wing, but he was relegated to a bench role given the presence of Irving and Durant in the Nets’ starting lineup. He won’t have to worry about that in Indiana, where he’ll immediately be part of the starting lineup and see any opportunities he can handle, especially with TJ Warren indefinitely out after foot surgery. . The Pacers may not be the title contender the Nets were, but they have got off to a great start this season and should be fighting for a four seed in the East.

The prohibitive favorite to win the Eastern Conference at the start of the season, the Bucks saw their attempted trade for Bogdan Bogdanovic slip through the cracks, and now their main contender has added a perennial MVP contender. Milwaukee probably has nothing to fear in the regular season and could even end up seeded No.1 for the third season in a row, but if they find themselves in a clash with the Nets in the playoffs, they’ll have their hands full.

Winner: Oklahoma City Thunder

As OKC has so many future choices, virtually any trade will affect them in one way or another. In this case, the Thunder hold the right to trade their 2021 first-round pick or the Heat’s first-round pick for the Rockets’ first round pick. This Houston pick got a lot juicier, with the team’s winning tally likely dropping with Harden’s departure. Miami is about to get off to a slow start, but there’s a good chance they’ll end up with a better record than Houston, meaning Oklahoma City are looking for another potential lottery pick in a busy 2021 draft class.

Winner: commercial requests

With Anthony Davis winning a title with the Lakers over the summer and now Harden forcing his way to his favorite destination, superstar players can see this as a plan to get out of an unwanted situation (cc: Bradley Beal). Harden was able to capitalize on the situation even though he had two more years left on his contract, opening the doors to even older star requests in the future. The so-called era of player empowerment in the NBA is in full swing.

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