The Brooklyn Nets announced the acquisition of superstar shooting guard James Harden on Thursday. Harden joined the Nets after being traded from the Houston Rockets. The trade was part of a high-profile four-team deal which also involved the Indiana Pacers and Cleveland Cavaliers and is expected to have a significant impact on the course of the current NBA season.
To obtain the services of 31-year-old Harden, the Nets sent shooting guard Caris LeVert along with three future first-round draft picks to Houston. The Rockets then immediately traded LeVert to Indiana. The Nets also provided the Rockets with the right to trade draft picks with them in four of the next seven drafts.
The Rockets also obtained small forward Rodions Kurucs from the Nets, shooting guard Victor Oladipo from the Pacers, and point guard Dante Exum from the Cavaliers. Meanwhile, Cleveland ended up with center Jarrett Allen and small forward Taurean Prince, both from the Nets.
The Nets’ and Rockets’ Statements
In an official team statement, Nets general manager Sean Marks said, “Adding an All-NBA player such as James to our roster better positions our team to compete against the league’s best. James is one of the most prolific scorers and playmakers in our game, and we are thrilled to bring his special talents to Brooklyn.”
The Rockets traded Harden after he grew increasingly disgruntled with key figures within the Rockets organization, in particular controversial owner Tillman Fertitta. In the wake of Harden’s departure, Fertitta attempted to mend their relationship with a statement he released.
“On behalf of the entire Rockets organization and the City of Houston, I’d like to thank James Harden for an amazing eight-plus seasons in a Rockets uniform,” Fertitta said. “James has provided us with so many great memories as we’ve watched him grow from Sixth Man of the Year to a perennial All-Star and MVP (Most Valuable Player). We wish James the best of luck and will always be grateful for the memories.”
Following confirmation of the trade, the Nets positioned themselves as genuine contenders to win their first NBA championship in franchise history. According to the Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill, the Nets overtook the Milwaukee Bucks to become the second-favourites to win the NBA title. With odds of +300, Brooklyn’s title odds only trail those of the Los Angeles Lakers, the reigning NBA champions.
Upon his arrival in Brooklyn, Harden will reunite with former Oklahoma City Thunder teammate Kevin Durant. The two future Hall of Famers played alongside each other for the Thunder from 2009 to 2012. An abrupt trade in the 2012 season then sent Harden to the Rockets, where he established himself as arguably the best player in the NBA.
15th January 2021 12:50
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