In what was a major move to many in the NBA and sporting world period, the Oklahoma City Thunder traded sixth man of the year and 2012 Gold medal winner James Harden to the Houston Rockets.
The Rockets sent guards Kevin Martin (who is in the last year of his contract),UCONN rookie Jeremy Lamb and two first-round picks as well as a second-round pick. The Rockets also picked up back up center and former Kansas Jayhawk Cole Aldrich , Daequan Cook and Lazar Hayward.
Harden turned down a 4 year approximately $56 million dollar deal from the Thunder and not too long after that decision Harden was traded. Harden was entering the last year of his deal and was largely reported to be one of the top rated free agents in the summer in 2013. I had been preaching all off season that the Thunder would trade Harden before the All-Star break but I saw the Phoenix Suns as being the leading contender to trade for Harden.
The question now will be how does the trade benefit both teams. The Rockets are in a rebuilding stage but with a back court of Jeremy Lin and James Harden can Houston be a playoff contender in the wild wild west? Durant and Westbrook are the core of the Thunder organization but James Harden was a key player in the success of the young team. Will the break up damage the thunder’s chemistry once the postseason arrives?
The NBA regular season kicks off Tuesday night. Let the games begin.
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