The James Harden blockbuster trade has finally concluded and it is leaving NBA fans astonished. James Harden to the Nets, Caris LeVert to the Pacers, Victor Oladipo to the Rockets, and Jarrett Allen to the Cavs, I'll break it all down right here.
What a deal this was for the Rockets, I can't even explain. James Harden is a generational talent, and one of the greatest scorers of all time. However, we should be aware of his attitude recently. The lack of practice and effort leads to the demoralization of the team which leads to blowout losses. Harden was not happy in Houston and he made it clear he wasn't going to give it 100% if the Rockets didn't trade him. So the fact that the Rockets got a star in Victor Oladipo plus first-round picks in 2022, 2024, and 2026 and first-round pick swaps in 2021, 2023, 2025, and 2027 is just amazing. If I were the Rockets, I would've wanted another player, because you never know where picks are going to get you in life, whereas if you get a player, you already know his talents and attributes. As for Dante Exum, there's not much you can do with him since he'll be removed from action for 1-2 months with a strained right calf. The Rockets also acquired Rodions Kurucs in the trade, who will simply be a low role bench player. Kurucs is known as a stretch four.
The Pacers made a very tough decision with Oladipo, but I agree with it. Oladipo, 28, is growing older, which means he is further prone to injury. Oladipo, however, has been looking quite healthy in his time with the Pacers this year, averaging 20 PPG. LeVert, meanwhile, is right in the middle of his prime, currently averaging 18.5 PPG on a team with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Some fans might worry about how LeVert and Warren will mesh, well, they can stop worrying. T.J. Warren is still considered "out indefinitely" after undergoing surgery on his left foot. The Pacers are hopeful that LeVert will mesh well with Malcolm Brogdon and that the big three in Brogdon, LeVert, and Sabonis will help this squad get to the playoffs.
I was pretty confused when I saw what Cleveland was giving away versus what they were acquiring. The Cavs gave up a 2022 first-round pick to the Rockets, a 2024 second-round pick to the Nets, and Dante Exum to the Rockets. The highest value in that package, sadly, is the first-round pick. That is what they gave away, yet they are receiving Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince. Acquiring Jarrett Allen was a questionable move, considering they already have Andre Drummond, JaVale McGee, and Thon Maker. I would like to see the Cavs flip one of their centers (preferably McGee or Allen) for the starting SF they have been searching for ever since LeBron left. Until then, the fight for the starting position will continue between Cedi Osman, Taurean Prince, and Isaac Okoro.
They got James Harden, I don't think I need to speak much on that, rather on what they gave away for him. Sean Marks did a great job of obtaining Harden while giving up the least amount of players possible. Originally, people thought that the Nets would have to give up Allen, LeVert, Dinwiddie, and maybe a couple of picks. I was very much against that. From the beginning, I didn't want Brooklyn to do this trade because of the amazing depth this team had. I still don't like the trade for the Nets simply because of all the scorers on the floor and also because they gave up LeVert and Allen, both of who fit in very well with the rotation the Nets used to have.