A Blockbuster Trade Sends James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets

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James Harden has been traded to the Brooklyn Nets for Caris LeVert, Rodions Kurucs, four future first-round picks and four draft swaps.

A new era begins as superstar James Harden has been included in a four-team blockbuster trade also involving the Cleveland Cavaliers and Indiana Pacers that sends him to the Brooklyn Nets to play alongside superstars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. 

In this trade, the Nets would go on to send off guard Caris LeVert, forward Rodions Kurucs, four future first-round picks, and four draft swaps to Houston in order to obtain Harden.

The Rockets would go on to send LeVert and a second-round pick right away to the Pacers in a swap for former All-Star Victor Oladipo.

The Cavaliers receive center Jarrett Allen and forward Taurean Prince in the deal from the Nets while only giving up guard Dante Exum to the Rockets and a second-round pick to the Nets.

This all happened following a loss by the Rockets to the Los Angeles Lakers this week, in which an unhappy James Harden would go on to allude to his goodbye to the Rockets fans and organization during his post-game interview.

“We’re just not good enough,” Harden said to reporters. “I love this city. I literally have done everything that I can. I mean, this situation is crazy. It’s something that I don’t think can be fixed.”

The team would slowly deteriorate even further following this statement, as many teammates surrounding Harden would respond to this negatively. Less than 24 hours later, Harden would be kept away from practice with the team and shipped off to Brooklyn.

The Philadelphia 76ers were also front runners in this trade in a package revolving around guard Ben Simmons, rookie Tyrese Maxey, and some picks. Tyrese Maxey, however, seemed to be the deciding factor in the 76ers not pulling the trigger.

This package was ultimately better than what the Nets could offer, and could have led to a duo of Joel Embiid and Harden while Simmons became the franchise player for the Rockets.

With the Nets giving up their entire future in this trade, Harden raises expectations for this team to a championship and a championship only. If they were to achieve anything less, this team would be considered a failure.

The Nets lose depth with this trade as well, and while Durant and Harden are known to mesh well and should have very few problems, the third star in Irving could be an issue. With the number of egos on this team, heads will collide and drama will be a constant issue between the trio. 

Irving does not have the best track record with the Nets already, and could very well be traded if things go south. It will be their job to rise above their issues and simply play good basketball in order to succeed, or we could very well see this team implode fast.

They also lose tons of defense in the trade, which could come to bite them in the long run. This team will have to be heavily reliant on their offense and hope three superstars can simply power through the competition.

On paper this trio is capable of being one of the greatest of all time, however, can they truly win a championship despite their flaws? Until they prove themselves on the court, the Los Angeles Lakers are still the most dominant force in the NBA and remain the favorites to win the NBA championship this year.

On the other side of things, the Rockets receiving Oladipo marks a new era of Houston basketball. Oladipo has just recently come off a major knee injury that sat him out for a year and is currently averaging 20 points this season. The current Rockets lineup is very different than what people are used to, and a playoff appearance without Harden could very well be out of reach.

The Pacers receive LeVert, who is a cheaper and younger version of Oladipo. Oladipo is expected to ask for a max contract and the Pacers much rather pay less for a player that still has the potential to grow. LeVert is only 26 years old and currently averaging 18.5 points as a part-time starter.

With the addition of Allen to the Cavaliers, he becomes the franchise center that this team will use to build around guards Collin Sexton and Darius Garland. The future for center Andre Drummond on the team remains unknown now as a trade could be seen in the near future.

Nevertheless, this legendary Nets lineup is one for the history books no matter the outcome. Many will look back on them as either a major success or one of the biggest failures in NBA history and only time will tell.

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