The James Harden era in Houston is finally over.
Harden was traded to the Brooklyn Nets in a four-team deal that will send 2x Victor Oladipo, Dante Exum, Rodions Kurucs, three Nets first-round picks, four Nets first-round picks trades (Rockets receive the best), and a first-round pick from the Milwaukee Bucks to the Houston Rockets; Caris LeVert and a second-round pick for the Indiana Pacers; and Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince at the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The deal is poised to propel the Nets into an immediate dispute in the Eastern Conference – though some pundits fear they may not have the depth to advance to the final.
The Nets lose their starting cross to Caris LeVert’s second-leading scorer Jarrett Allen and future draft security with three unprotected first-round picks and four unprotected first-round picks.
It’s clear this is a “win-now” decision for the Nets – but with all-star goaltender Kyrie Irving reportedly “off the grid,” many are wondering if the team can put it all together.
Nonetheless, the talent is definitely there.
But perhaps the biggest winners in the trade were the other three teams involved.
The Rockets managed to unload a team distraction at Harden and bring in a former all-star player to Oladipo, as well as bring in considerable draft capital to rebuild.
The Pacers managed to offload an allegedly disgruntled Oladipo in the final year of his contract for a younger and more dynamic guard at LeVert.
The Cavs were able to acquire a 22-year-old rim racer with great potential in Allen for low Exum pricing, a first-round pick and a second-round pick.
Time will tell the whole story of who won the trade – but for now, it looks like every team got what they were looking for.