Rockets guard James Harden will join stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn, as the three-time scoring champion got what he was looking for all along when he demanded a trade last December through a three-team deal.
In return, the Rockets will be receiving all four of the Nets’ future first-round draft picks and four draft swaps along with Caris LeVert, Dante Exum, and Rodions Kurucs while the Cleveland Cavaliers will get Taurean Prince and Jarrett Allen.
LeVert was promptly traded from the Rockets to the Indiana Pacers in exchange for Victor Oladipo and a 2nd-round pick.
Nine games into the season, but Harden was clear he had enough playing for the Rockets. Following a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday that dropped them to 3-6 on the season, the nine-time All-Star told the post-game conference the situation is “crazy”.
Harden did not show up to Rockets practice on Wednesday where he would have been kept away from the team until a trade is made, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Latest basketball news: James Harden says Rockets situation can’t be fixed
An acquisition of Harden could not come at a better time for Brooklyn, though questions about team chemistry on the floor in the locker room will immediately arrive considering how things have deteriorated down in Houston and with the current state of the Nets.
Kyrie Irving remains out due to personal reasons having missed the last five games when including Wednesday night’s tilt against the Knicks. He was caught on social media at a family gathering in West Orange, NJ earlier this week without a mask, which is in direct violation of the NBA’s COVID protocols.
The Nets have provided no specifics surrounding Irving’s absence and when asked if the 28-year-old will play at all this season, head coach Steve Nash simply answered, “sure.” Not exactly a confidence-inspiring answer for a team that has banked so much on a superstar duo of Irving and Kevin Durant.
Harden reunites with Durant in Brooklyn after they spent 3 seasons as teammates with the Oklahoma City Thunder. He will take a considerable amount of pressure off Durant’s plate to turn the Nets organization around if Irving continues to miss games while Spencer Dinwiddie — the team’s third-best player — is out for the season with a partially torn ACL.
In case Irving returns sooner than later, the Nets suddenly have one of the most imposing trios in the NBA. Harden is under contract for two more seasons with a player option for the 2022-23 campaign.