James Harden traded to the Nets in 4-team, blockbuster deal
Houston Rocketsare trading James Hardento the Brooklyn Nets, according to multiple reports.
- The Athletic's Shams Charania reported that the Nets will send Caris LeVert, Jarrett Allen, and a package of four first-round draft picks, plus three future picks swaps to the Rockets in exchange for Harden.
- Harden's behavior and conditioning have been questioned this season following his request, and things with the Rockets were getting ugly.
The Houston Rockets are trading James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets in a massive, four-team, blockbuster deal, according to multiple reports.
According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, the trade breaks down as such:The Nets acquire Harden.
The Pacers acquire Caris LeVert (via the Nets) and a second-round draft pick.The Cavs acquire Taurean Prince and Jarrett Allen from the Nets.
Harden requested a trade from the Rockets prior to the season. The Rockets attempted to wait out the trade request and patch things up with Harden, but things quickly derailed in Houston. Harden missed the start of training camp and was seen partying in other cities. He missed the first week of the season in quarantine because he had to return negative COVID-19 tests before joining the team.Meanwhile, Harden's conditioning has been questioned, and his recent performance did not silence critics. One of the league's best scorers, Harden has averaged just 17 points per game in January. After a blowout loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday, Harden essentially made his demands public. Harden said the team was not good enough, that he had done all he could with the Rockets, and that the situation wasn't fixable. He called the situation in Houston "crazy."
The comments rankled the Rockets.
Newly acquired point guard John Wall said on Tuesday that it was hard for the team to succeed when some players didn't want to be there.The team told Harden not to report to practice on Wednesday as reports surfaced that they were searching for trade partners.
On Wednesday, Rockets center DeMarcus Cousins said Harden's "disrespect" had been ongoing.
The Rockets were said to be interested in acquiring a franchise player, young talent, and future draft picks.The Philadelphia 76ers were reportedly interested in Harden, too.
The Nets own the NBA's newest super-teamThe Nets are now undoubtedly the most star-studded team in the NBA.
Harden now joins Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, who are just one month into playing on the court together. The Nets still boast considerable shooting and defense, even while losing LeVert, Prince, and Allen.They do have their kinks to work out, however.
The 6-6 Nets have had no trouble scoring, but have had trouble stopping opponents and grabbing rebounds. Substituting Harden for Prince and Allen won't help either of those issues.Additionally, chemistry may be somewhat frayed already. Irving has missed the past four games for "personal" reasons that have not yet been explained. He was seen on social media attending what appeared to be a birthday party, mask-less. The NBA said it is investigating the videos. Irving is expected to miss this week, and may miss another week to quarantine and return negative COVID-19 tests before he can re-join the team. On the court, the Nets will also have to juggle letting Harden, Durant, and Irving all get their touches on offense. Irving and Harden, in particular, thrive with the ball in their hands.
First-year head coach Steve Nash now has immense talent at his disposal, but increased expectations to win a championship.
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