During the offseason, the Houston Rockets made a lot of changes–switching out their GM, the head coach, and after requesting a trade, their super star point guard Russell Westbrook was sent to the Wizards. Which left James Harden. He also requested a trade out of Houston after getting the feeling the team was going to start rebuilding. However, getting a trade for Harden would be a little harder than a trade for Westbrook, as Harden is viewed by many as the most prolific scorer in the league. A trade for Harden took some time, but on Wednesday, January 13th, he got his wish. Harden was traded to the Brooklyn Nets to team up with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
The formations of super teams is something that has been in the NBA for some time now. For those that don’t know what a super team is, it is when a collection of super stars join the same team in order to try and win a championship. Examples would be when LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh joined forces in Miami to win, or recently when Kevin Durant joined Steph Curry, Klay Thompsom, and Draymond Green in Golden State. Stars joining other stars in the league to try and increase their chance to win isn’t uncommon, however, the latest combination of super stars may just be the greatest collection of offensive power the league has ever seen.
After the Rockets recent loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, Harden said during the post game press conference, “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.” With a statement like that, it was clear he wasn’t going to try and make it work with the team. So the next day, the Rockets shipped him out of town. His trade, however, was a little complicated given that four teams were involved.
Those four teams included the Rockets, Nets, Pacers, and the Cavaliers. From the Nets, Jarett Allen and Taurean Prince are going to the Cavs. According to ABC News, the Rockets get the Cavs guard Dante Exum, and the All-Star guard from the Pacers, Victor Oladipo, along with the Nets three unprotected first-round draft picks in the deal, in 2022, 2024 and 2026, plus pick swaps in 2021, 2023, 2025 and 2027. They also get the Cavs 2022 first round pick. The Pacers are getting a 2023 second round pick, and Nets sixth man Caris LeVert. The Nets get James Harden.
There isn’t much of a question as to whether or not this is Harden’s best chance to win a title, however, if they don’t I’m sure most of the blame may fall on him. He and Durant were teammates before on the Thunder, but back then Harden was coming off the bench.
Harden has now gained the reputation of not working well with other stars, having chemistry problems with players like Westbrook, Chris Paul, and Dwight Howard, due to his style of play, which is “watch me dribble the ball and wait for me to pass it to you,” or “watch me score.” With another ball dominating player on the team in Irving, it is hard to see how this combination will work in the long run for the Nets. We will see how this offensive juggernaut grows and evolves over the course of the season.
By Devin Foster, Sophomore, Bradley University
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