Ben Cooper | Writer
January 15, 2021
Another superstar is on the move in the NBA.
Former MVP James Harden was traded to the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night, to join superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Here are the details of the blockbuster four team trade:
Nets receive: G James Harden from Rockets | 2024 second-round pick from Cavs
Nets trade: C Jarrett Allen & F Taurean Prince & rights to Aleksandar Vezenkov (57th overall pick in 2017) to Cavs | G Caris LeVert, F Rodions Kurucs, three first-round picks (2022, 2024 and 2026) & four first-round pick swaps (2021, 2023, 2025, 2027) to Rockets
Rockets receive: G Victor Oladipo & F Rodions Kurucs & three first-round picks (2022, 2024 and 2026) and four first-round pick swaps (2021, 2023, 2025, 2027) from Nets | G Dante Exum & 2022 first-round pick (via Milwaukee) from Cavs
Rockets trade: G James Harden to Nets and G Caris Lavert to Pacers
Cavs receive: C Jarrett Allen, F Taurean Prince & rights to Aleksandar Vezenkov (57th overall pick in 2017) from Nets
Cavs trade: G Dante Exum & 2022 first-round pick (via Milwaukee) to Houston | 2024 second-round pick to Brooklyn
Pacers receive: G Caris Lavert, 2nd round pick
Pacers trade: G Victor Oladipo to Rockets
This trade shows that the Nets are going all in for a championship; they sent four first round picks and four pick swaps to the Rockets to acquire Harden. While in theory having three of the top players in the NBA on the same team sounds great, these big personalities may have trouble meshing together. “They definitely look like they can dominate the east, but with all those personalities, problems can occur,” San Clemente High School junior Nathan Alonso said. “As we can already see, Kyrie already has gone, which is the first of many possible problems. If they leave their personal life off the court, their success will show. If not, the problems could escalate. These players can be offensive threats to any team, but they must handle themselves personally to do so.” Kyrie Irving has been out for the last five games to unknown reasons leading many to believe he is not fully committed to basketball.
The disgruntled Harden showed clearly to everyone that he wanted to be traded, as during a postgame presser, he said “We’re not even close, honestly, to [the Lakers] … and all the other elite teams out there.” Harden was noticeably frustrated after the Rockets blowout loss to the Lakers on Tuesday. “I mean, you can tell the difference in these last two games. We’re just not good enough. Chemistry, talent wise, just everything. And it was clear these last two games.”
Harden has looked unmotivated all season with this Rockets team, even appearing out of shape. Harden finally got what he wanted but will now have the challenge of working with two other superstar players, even though there’s only one basketball. “They’re going to be the iso kings and have a ton of locker room drama,” junior AJ Nestor said. “At best they will make the Finals and lose to the Lakers.”
First year head coach Steve Nash will have to find a way to mesh these big personalities together or this Nets big three will be a colossal failure.