In probably the biggest NBA trade in the past five years, James Harden was traded to the Brooklyn Nets, where he joined Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving to form another big three. Harden is joining the Nets from the Houston Rockets, where tempers were flaring with teammates as Harden kept trying to push for a trade. Chemistry became a problem, as it was uncertain whether or not he was committed to the team. Ultimately, his trade from the Rockets to the Nets came to no one’s surprise.
The Cleveland Cavaliers were also involved in the initial trade. The outcome of the trade would be the Nets receiving Harden and a second-round pick (2024) from the Cavs. The Rockets received Guard Caris LeVert, Forward Rodions Kurucs, three first-round picks (2022, 2024, and 2026), and four first-round pick swaps (2021, 2023, 2025, and 2027) from the Nets. The Cavs, the third wheel of this trade, would receive Center Jarrett Allen, Forward Taurean Prince, and rights to Forward Aleksandar Vezenkov (57th overall pick in 2017) from the Nets.
The trades did not stop there; Houston would make one more trade, sending LeVert and a second-round pick (2023) to the Indiana Pacers for Victor Olodipo. It was later discovered, from an MRI scan, that LeVert has a small mass on one of his kidneys, taking him out indefinitely until he can seek further medical treatment. LeVert spoke on the subject, saying that the trade “could’ve possibly saved me in the long run.” Pacers President Kevin Pritchard said LeVert “can still help us in the not too distant future;” he still has a place in the team and has the support of the whole Pacer organization.
As for Harden with the Nets, he joins a team that already had championship aspirations; now those expectations are higher. Harden, in his first two games with the Nets, scored a total of 66 points. In his first game, he had 32 points, 14 assists, and 12 rebounds, giving him a triple-double; in his second game, he had 32 points, 12 assists, and 6 rebounds. In both of those games, the Nets won without the help of Kyrie Irving, who has been out for the past two weeks. Once he returns, many expect this team to be a dangerous attacking force.
With this huge trade, we now look at other teams and see what their move is to counter this. Teams like the Milwaukee Bucks may look to make a small trade to bolster their bench, and while the Philadelphia 76ers look strong now, they may want to improve their shooting on the wings (shooting from behind the three-point line). Either way, the Nets are definitely a team that many are looking forward to seeing; whether they have the tools to win the championship or not, they have a very exciting team to watch all season long.
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