james harden heads to brooklyn, joining his old teammate kevin durant and kyrie irving to give the nets a potent trio of some of the nba’s top scorers.
The Nets acquired the three-time scoring champion from the Houston Rockets on Wednesday in a move he has sought for weeks. The trade also involves the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Reading: Brooklyn nets james harden trade
in the trade, the nets send center jarrett allen and forward taurean prince to cleveland, and guard caris levert and forward rodions kurucs, as well as three first-round draft picks (2022, 2024 and 2026) and four first-round draft pick trades (2021, 2023, 2025 and 2027) to houston. The Rockets also receive Guard Dante Exum and a 2022 first-round pick from Cleveland (via Milwaukee), and Brooklyn acquires a 2024 second-round pick from the Cavaliers to complete the deal.
The deal will reportedly include a fourth team, the Indiana Pacers, but that aspect of the deal has yet to be made official. according to multiple reports, the pacers would acquire levert and a future second-round pick from the rockets in exchange for star guard victor oladipo.
Official: The Brooklyn Nets have acquired six-time NBA First Team and eight-time NBA All-Star James Harden.https://t.co/tkh5dcki5f
— brooklyn nets (@brooklynnets) January 14, 2021
sources: houston rockets trade james harden for brooklyn nets, via @espn app https://t.co/orrwhi2jbv
— adrian wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 13, 2021
In a statement released by the Rockets, team owner Tillman Fertitta said: “On behalf of the entire Rockets organization and the City of Houston, I would like to thank James Harden for over eight incredible seasons. in a rockets uniform.. james has provided us with so many fond memories as we have seen him grow from sixth man of the year to perennial star and mvp.
“my family and i also want to thank james for his many contributions off the court, including generous charitable donations and multiple annual community events. We wish james the best of luck and will always be grateful for the memories.”
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Thank you, @jharden13. pic.twitter.com/kcrstts9ge
– houston rockets (@houstonrockets) January 14, 2021
nets can now bring out a lineup of three players capable of scoring 25 or more points on any given night in a collection of firepower to rival any of the big three in years past.
“This is an amazing move for Brooklyn. obviously they got better, much better,” said two-time kia mvp giannis antetokounmpo of milwaukee.
The networks are charging for a title run with three of the highest-paid players in the league. All are under contract through 2022-23, with Harden and Durant both set to earn more than $40 million in each of the next two seasons.
Meanwhile, the Nets fell short for their game against the New York Knicks, where coach Steve Nash declined to discuss Harden but confirmed that the players the Nets were trading were not in the building. The Nets beat the Knicks 116-109 thanks in large part to Durant’s 26-point effort.
james harden trade: the details
- the networks receive: g james harden of the rockets | cavs 2024 2nd round pick
- net trade: c jarrett allen & f taurus prince & rights of aleksandar vezenkov (selection 57 overall in 2017) to the cavs | g caris levert, f rodions kurucs, three first-round picks (2022, 2024 and 2026) & four first-round pick changes (2021, 2023, 2025, 2027) to rockets
- rockets receive: g caris levert, f rodions kurucs & three first-round picks (2022, 2024, and 2026) and four first-round pick trades (2021, 2023, 2025, 2027) from the networks | g dante exum & cavs 2022 first round pick (via milwaukee)
- rocket trade: g james harden to nets
- cavs receive: c jarrett allen, f taurean prince & rights to aleksandar vezenkov (57th overall pick in 2017) from nets
- cavs swap: g dante exum & 2022 first-round pick (via milwaukee) to houston | 2024 second round pick for brooklyn
after a 7-6 start to his rookie season, now the former point guard and two-time nash league mvp will have to mold an offense that keeps the ball moving with three players worthy of getting his hands on it .
“It’s a simple game, but it gets complicated when you put different personalities and players on the court,” Nash said. “Our group has done a really good job of being selfless this year and trying to move the ball and work together, so I’m proud of that.”
The blockbuster deal provides a needed boost amid a period of drama for both franchises. It hit less than 24 hours after Harden appeared to deliver something of a valedictory speech following the Rockets’ loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night, and just before Irving missed a fifth straight game during a personal absence from networks.
the farce of the athletic ones breaks down the successful informed trade.
Harden, who has gone through Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook as teammates in recent seasons, didn’t think much of the roster the Rockets had around him this season.
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“we’re just not good enough…i love this city. I literally did everything I could,” Harden said Tuesday night. “I mean, this situation is crazy. It’s something I don’t think can be fixed.”
He couldn’t, and now he’s gone.
brooklyn hopes that harden puts all that behind him and that his transition to networks is smooth. he should be much happier in brooklyn as he teamed up with durant in oklahoma city when they were younger and they are still close.
It was obvious the end was near on Wednesday, when the Rockets told him they didn’t want him in practice after his inflammatory comments about the team.
“We felt it was in the best interest of James and the group that he didn’t come to practice,” said freshman coach stephen silas. About two hours later, it was first reported by ESPN and The Athletic that Harden was moving.
will the harden-irving-durant combination work in brooklyn?
The disgruntled superstar, who failed to get the Rockets past the Western Conference finals, remained silent through months of reports that he was unhappy in Houston. silas called the drama surrounding harden a “completely messy situation.”
The nets were ready to go in, after a shaky defense early in the season proved their best chance to beat teams might be to get past them.
they can certainly do it now. Durant is averaging 29.9 points in his first season after surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon, and Irving was scoring 27.1 points per game before leaving the team last week. Harden, who appears to be out of shape after joining the Rockets after training camp began, is averaging 24.8 this season after three consecutive seasons above 30, capping him off with MVP honors in 2018.
the rockets are just 3-6 so far this season and only minnesota has a worse record in the western conference. The team is clearly in disarray, with newcomer John Wall calling the situation “difficult.” Harden has won each of the last three scoring titles by notable margins: 2.3 points over Anthony Davis in 2017-18, 8.1 points over Paul George in 2018-19 and 3.8 points over Bradley Beal last season. His average so far this season is ranked 18th in the NBA, well below his usual pace.
could bounce back again in brooklyn, where nash’s assistant in charge of offense is mike d’antoni, harden’s coach during his best seasons in houston.
d’antoni did not return after last season and it quickly became clear that harden wanted to leave as well. He failed to show up when camp opened and was later fined $50,000 for conduct disruptive to the league after attending an indoor event without a mask in violation of NBA health and safety protocols.
information from the associated press was used in this report.
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