James Harden‘s future with the Houston Rockets had been hanging by a thread for some time. After the shooting guard announced that his side wasn’t good enough to compete with the best, the LA Lakers, it took less than 24 hours for the franchise to find their long-standing star a new home.
Now that the dust has settled on the James Harden fiasco in Houston and the guard is reportedly heading to the Brooklyn Nets, we can examine who the winners and losers from the trade will be.
Biggest Winners as James Harden moves to Brooklyn
The biggest winner to come out of the announcement is undoubtedly the former MVP himself, James Harden. At 31, the 3-time leading-scorer of the NBA felt his time with the Houston Rockets was up and it was now right to seriously hunt a championship that has thus far eluded him before going beyond his peak.
Harden was a valiant servant to the Houston Rockets with whom he spent 8 seasons. In that time, the Rockets finished top of the West during the 2017-18 regular season and reached the Conference Finals twice.
Now that James Harden is in Brooklyn alongside Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, he may finally be able to clinch his first ring. So far this season, he has averaged 24.8 points and 10 assists and will likely improve these numbers straight away once linking up with the Nets two superstars.
James Harden’s new side, the Brooklyn Nets, have also emerged out of this trade as huge winners.
Already among the favorites in the East, the Nets have thrown the NBA into disarray with their mega trade for Harden. Having a big-three of KD, Kyrie Irving and James Harden will strike fear into opposition defenses and will be one of the most lethal offensive trios in the league.
The most recent example of three superstars combining to dominate was during Kevin Durant’s stay in Oakland, where he, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson secured two NBA Championships together. Brooklyn will feel that their current setup is even stronger which makes for a very exciting season ahead for Nets fans.
Having finally put the whole situation behind them, the Houston Rockets are our final winners from the James Harden trade. Out of the deal, the Rockets have received 4 future first-round picks, 4 future first-round swaps, Victor Oladipo, Dante Exum and Rodions Kurucs.
Their current draft package is now one of the strongest in the league’s history and has solidified their future or could be used in potential deals down the line. Oladipo being on an expiring contract also gives the Rockets time to decide whether they keep the shooting guard in the long-term.
Therefore, not only have the Rockets secured the future of the franchise but have offloaded a player who was becoming increasingly disgruntled and had caused irreparable fractures within the side.
Published 14 Jan 2021, 06:02 IST