James Harden traded to Nets in four-way blockbuster deal | The Sporting Base
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James Harden traded to Nets in four-way blockbuster deal

January 15, 2021

James Harden traded to Nets in four-way blockbuster deal

We knew it was coming. We had projected that disgruntled guard James Harden, one of the game’s best, would be traded at some point and even accurately predicted that the Brooklyn Nets were one of the four teams that would find a way to acquire the leading scorer from each of the last three NBA seasons.

So before further adieu, here is how one of the biggest blockbuster mid-season trades in NBA history shakes out. According to ESPN on Wednesday, the Nets receive James Harden from the Rockets and a second-round draft pick in the 2024 NBA Draft from the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Rockets receive guard Victor Oladipo from the Indiana Pacers, guard Dante Exum from the Cavaliers, Rodions Kurucs from the Nets, the Cavaliers’ first-round draft pick in 2022, and the Nets’ first-round draft picks in 2022, 2024, and 2026. The Pacers receive swingman Caris LeVert from the Nets and a second-round pick in the 2023 draft from the Rockets. The Cavaliers finally acquire center Jarrett Allen and forward Taurean Prince from the Nets.

Another part of the deal comes down to draft pick swaps. The Nets and Rockets will trade their first-round picks in 2021, 2023, 2025, and 2027.

Harden is now reacquainted with Kevin Durant in Brooklyn, as the two played together in Oklahoma City. Brooklyn has a legitimate big three, with Kyrie Irving also in the mix.

However, in order to acquire Harden, the Nets had to give up a lot of secondary scoring and a lot of their future in draft picks. You could make the argument that LeVert was the Nets’ most consistent player in 2019-20, as he averaged 18.7 points per game. This year, he averaged 18.5 points per game, along with career highs in assists (6.0), and rebounds (4.3). Allen, who is recognizable on the court because of his afro, was averaging a double-double this season (11.2 points per game, and 10.4 rebounds). Meanwhile, Prince had averaged in the double digits in scoring for three straight seasons from 2018 to 2020.



Oladipo was reportedly also a little bit disgruntled in Indiana. The two-time all-star was averaging 20.0 points per game. The native of Silver Spring, Maryland is also known for his defense, as he averaged a NBA-high 2.4 steals in 2017-18.

Let’s not kid ourselves. This trade is also about Harden. In his career, Harden has averaged 25.2 points per game, including 30+ points each season from 2018 to 2020.  He instantly makes the Nets a title-contender, and possibly favourite. No other team in the association matches up. Period. Currently sixth in the East at seven wins and six losses, the Nets are in win-now mode. There are simply no more excuses in Brooklyn.


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