1. Welcome! Please take a few seconds to create your free account to post threads, make some friends, remove a few ads while surfing and much more. ClutchFans has been bringing fans together to talk Houston Sports since 1996. Join us!

James Harden traded to Brooklyn

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by J.R., Jan 13, 2021.

?

Do you like the James Harden trade?

This poll will close on Jan 13, 2026 at 4:17 PM.
  1. YES

    32.1%
  2. NO

    25.8%
  3. Ask me again in 5 years

    38.9%
  4. Abstain

    3.2%
  1. Reeko

    Reeko Secretary of Defense for the Jabari Tribe
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2017
    Messages:
    35,403
    Likes Received:
    99,199
    Nets receive James Harden, 2024 second-round pick (via Cleveland)
    There are a lot of questions about how this will fit and how Harden will embrace a new culture that isn’t centered around him, nor exclusively catering to what he wants to be on the court. For the past eight years, Harden has been allowed to be the focus of an offense and go get whatever numbers and accolades he seeks. It got him an MVP award and several top-two finishes in the voting. But it never ended up with Harden finding himself past the conference finals. The last time he was past the conference finals was right before he was traded to Houston in 2012. That was when he was the sixth man for Oklahoma City and teamed with Kevin Durant and a super talented, yet often mercurial, point guard.

    Well, guess what? He’s now back with KD. He’s got Kyrie Irving as the point guard on the team, whenever he decides to rejoin his Brooklyn squad. And it’s safe to say Harden won’t have free reign on offense to play the way we saw with hyper usage over the last few seasons, and he’ll have to fit next to incumbent superstars, instead of the other way around. But Harden gets a chance to prove the issues in Houston weren’t so much him as they were a crumbling organization. He also gets a chance to prove to the basketball world that he is willing to adjust his game to play winning basketball on a loaded team.

    Back during 2019 All-Star Weekend, Steph Curry was on camera and mic’d up telling Mike Budenholzer that Harden told him he doesn’t want to play that way anymore. He doesn’t want to have to do everything. He wanted more team play, like what he saw in Golden State. I’m not sure playing with Durant and Irving will accomplish that because those two players historically love to play isolation ball. Irving loves to dribble for days, much like Harden did during his time in Houston. Coach Steve Nash will be tasked with harnessing all that talent and getting it to adopt some level of team basketball on that end of the floor.

    However, there are other people who just love the idea of “get me all of the talent you can and allow me to mold it to winning basketball.” Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. The level of individual offensive talent on the Nets now with Harden, Durant and Irving can’t be matched. Making it match together on the court, though, will be a chore. We’ve seen Harden be someone who can deal out 10-12 assists every night. Nash can stagger the minutes to always have Harden or Irving on the floor.

    One tough part in all this is giving up Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen. LeVert’s a talented scorer who will be missed, but they also just acquired Harden. That scoring has been replaced. Allen’s absence will be tough for a team that may end up as awful defensively. When Allen played center instead of DeAndre Jordan, the Nets were just a much better team. He’s an actual defensive presence and someone who can stretch the floor vertically. But you have to sacrifice something in order to bring in a talent like Harden.

    As for the draft picks, once Jrue Holiday went in exchange for control over half a decade’s worth of picks from Milwaukee, the price tag was set on Harden. It would take something historic to get him moved. Now the Nets give up control of seven drafts to the Rockets. That won’t make it easy to plan around with cheap options to build out the rotation, but the Nets obviously feel he’s worth that gamble.

    Ever since Harden let it be known he didn’t want to play for Houston anymore, this match has felt mostly imminent. Now we see just how all of these talented pieces fit together in pursuit of a championship.

    Grade: A-
    Rockets receive Victor Oladipo, Dante Exum, Rodions Kurucs, four first-round picks, four picks swaps

    Things were really bad in Houston in the early part of this season, and you could see a total lack of respect for any culture-building throughout. To get out of there, Harden had to rebel against a new front office and a new coach in Stephen Silas. They caught strays as Harden told Tilman Fertitta that enough was enough and he didn’t want to be there anymore. In the offseason, they acquired John Wall and Christian Wood in two separate deals. So far, Wood has made good individual production, and Wall looks pretty rejuvenated after a two-year injury-induced absence from the court.

    Trying to bring positivity and momentum toward building this team back up wasn’t going to include Harden. But now it includes Oladipo as a stand-in at the shooting guard position, as he attempts his own return to All-NBA form in a contract year for him. Bringing in Oladipo on a rental is huge for Houston, and it provides flexibility. If the Rockets re-sign Oladipo, they have to worry about the bill of health he has moving forward, but they also bring a player who plays really good basketball on both ends of the floor when his body is right.

    Exum and Kurucs are likely just contract and roster fillers, although both of them can serve a decent role in a rotation if given the chance by Silas. The real star of this trade coming back to Houston isn’t any of the known players, although Oladipo has a chance to be very good again. It’s the historic draft haul that the Rockets receive for Harden.

    Here’s the breakdown of the picks involved:

    • 2022, 2024, 2026 first-round picks from Brooklyn, all unprotected
    • 2022 first-round pick from Milwaukee, via Cleveland, unprotected
    • Picks swaps with Brooklyn in 2021, 2023, 2025, and 2027
    That’s quite the haul for Rafael Stone and the Rockets franchise. The hope for Houston is all of those picks from Brooklyn don’t end up being in the 20s in the first round. They have to hope something similar befalls this Brooklyn franchise, like when it moved a lot of future picks and swaps in exchange for having a solid team in its new Barclays Center. The Nets made a trade with Danny Ainge and the Boston Celtics that ended up netting the Boston Jaylen Brown and the pick used to acquire Jayson Tatum three and four years later, respectively.

    Houston has less of a chance of that happening in this case because all of the stars for Brooklyn are currently much younger than the mid-to-late 30s combination of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett back in 2013, when that historic trade mistake was made by the Nets. But eventually, dynasties fall, as do just good teams that probably don’t project out seven years. Things always change, as we saw with the Miami Heat in 2014 and the Golden State Warriors in 2019. Houston is banking on the eventuality of those later picks and pick swaps owed, all being unprotected and benefitting this Rockets franchise.

    It’s a risk and good gamble they had to take.

    Grade: A-
     
  2. HillBoy

    HillBoy Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2003
    Messages:
    8,284
    Likes Received:
    1,692
    Oh, it'll work in spurts - especially against weaker teams like the Bulls, Cavs, NYKs, Hornets, Wizards, Magic. The big question that has yet to be answered is how this will work come playoff time when the intensity gets racheted up.
     
  3. Why not?

    Why not? Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2015
    Messages:
    272
    Likes Received:
    544
    I know I'll get hated on, but God, I'm glad he's gone.

    As much as I loved him in the early years he had with us, over time he became something totally different. He always had the talent, but we created a monster. Giving him the keys to the franchise so early empowered him to truly maximize his ability. His offensive numbers will stack up against all-time greats by the time he retires and that's because we decided to make him our whole offense. But it also empowered him to maximize his ego. Some guys can take on the mantle of being a team's franchise player without completely losing himself to ego (ie. Hakeem, Giannis, Nash, Duncan) but others go the opposite route and become divas. Harden grew into the ultimate diva both on the court and off of it. Opting out of entire possessions if he wasn't the focal point of the play or skipping out on team flights to hang out in an ATL strip club. It's hard to develop chemistry or camaraderie when your "leaders" abstain from as many team activities as possible, constantly show up late to practices that they chose the start time on, and live lifestyles that don't prioritize basketball.

    The dude doesn't have a leadership bone in his body. I don't see how he transitions well to being a 2nd or 3rd option behind guys who need the ball in their hands to create. That's the best thing about this deal: I honestly don't believe Harden and Kyrie can co-exist and both stay happy. Hopefully that means BKN implodes in a year or 2 and we reap the benefits.

    His shenanigans in the last few days only cemented things for me. Zero class. We absolutely had to remove this cancer after that response he gave in the Lakers postgame. It seems he wanted to scathe us on the way out too. His farewell was bullshit and tanking his value to where we had to settle for 2 decent picks and a bunch of trash in return is infuriating.

    I don't care how petty it is, I will revel in his failures for the rest of his career.

    Go Rockets!
     
    #863 Why not?, Jan 14, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2021
  4. jiggyfly

    jiggyfly Member
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2015
    Messages:
    18,227
    Likes Received:
    14,809
    What did I miss?

    You fondly remember some of that epic choke job against the freakin mavericks but can't remember Harden doing anything other than negatively in the playoffs?

    That's what you are saying.

    So you can't fondly remember Harden leading us to the WCF scoring 30 points in a game 7.

    You can't fondly remember us almost sweeping the Jazz twice and Harden scoring 25 + and making the Jazz look stupid by choosing to play defense behind Harden.

    If you can look back fondly on those 2 games I don't see why you think only negatively of Harden, why is that?
     
    BMoney likes this.
  5. blahblehblah

    blahblehblah Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2006
    Messages:
    4,638
    Likes Received:
    3,759
    Imo the amount of point scored is not as important as the efficiency in which is acheived (assuming a non magnitude difference level of volume). Scoring 32 while on 11-29 shots isn't a positive imo. Just as I don't find Westbrooks scoring the past 3 season impressive due to his low efficiency. And as I've stated the first time, YMMV.

    It's amusing and concerning that MY personal memories and what I think of when associating Harden and postseason could be a source of antagonization for you.

    Your free to choose to remember Harden in any manner you wish, the fact that someone else doesn't share the same perspective shouldn't trigger you so.

    Lastly thanks for your concern about the accuracy of my memory, though I do get some details wrong I'm pretty happy with it lol.
     
  6. TEXNIFICENT

    TEXNIFICENT Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Messages:
    7,293
    Likes Received:
    5,655
    Rockets got a pretty good deal in the long run. Picks and a guy who can be trade for more picks.
     
    Plowman likes this.
  7. jiggyfly

    jiggyfly Member
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2015
    Messages:
    18,227
    Likes Received:
    14,809

    You want to run the efficiency numbers of others outside of Lebron and Durant?


    Why don't you do that with Kobe.

    I'll wait.

    I really don't care what your memories are but when you come in here and act like Harden has only negatives in the playoffs, you are just flat out wrong or being disingenuous to make a biased point.

    All of this is in response to this.

    "The reality is, Harden never had a defining moment or series in the postseason... Not any positive ones anyways.

    Superstars, top 50 all time players are expected to have memorable performances when it matter most."


    He has had memorable performances against the Jazz twice for a series and game 7 against the Clippers.

    So no that's not the reality.
     
    BMoney likes this.
  8. Why not?

    Why not? Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2015
    Messages:
    272
    Likes Received:
    544
    Sir I humbly disagree. The unprotected 2024 and 2026 picks are nice but we have no idea what kind of team the Nets will have by then. Sean Marks has done well to keep them competitive with just mostly role players since he took over, so I wouldn't expect them to be super high picks.

    Pick swaps and expiring, recovering Oladipo? No man. Sure we can get a couple picks for him (doubtful that we get multiple firsts), but no one is coming for Exum or Kurucs.
     
  9. blahblehblah

    blahblehblah Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2006
    Messages:
    4,638
    Likes Received:
    3,759
    LOL. I'll definitely remember next time.
     
  10. TEXNIFICENT

    TEXNIFICENT Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Messages:
    7,293
    Likes Received:
    5,655
    They don't have a ton of flexibility going forward and their star players Kyrie 28 (weird), Harden 31 (out of shape and has played a TON of minutes) & Durant 32 (coming off an Achilles) have all kinds of issues. It's going to be a delicate balance holding that bunch together for more than 2 years. This thing may look better in the future. But we can agree to disagree.
     
    Plowman and Why not? like this.
  11. zeeshan2

    zeeshan2 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    Messages:
    39,526
    Likes Received:
    35,548
  12. Commodore

    Commodore Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2007
    Messages:
    27,126
    Likes Received:
    9,719
  13. Why not?

    Why not? Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2015
    Messages:
    272
    Likes Received:
    544
    Like I noted in my original post, I really don't believe this core of Harden, KD, and Kyrie is functional. I do think it'll fall apart. I agree, which is what makes those picks nice gets. I just feel like we deserved more than what we got. Harden's value had to be higher in the summer before he showed up out-of-shape and whiny right? How do we get no exciting young players?!? I wanted a few guys like the Pelicans got from the AD trade (if we had nabbed MPJ or Herro... or even Jarrett Allen I'd be feeling a little better about the trade).

    It's like there's no sauce in this deal, it screams to us tanking. If we had done it with BKN straight up over the summer we could have gotten their same picks and Allen, Dinwiddie, Lavert, and Prince. Having those guys in camp with how rejuvenated Wall and Boogie have looked would have been ingredients for a nice 7-8 seed. Which would have probably been fun to watch! I don't love that scenario but I like it better than this..

    In the long run, though, I hope you're right. I hope BKN can't hold it together and they end up having years like Golden State had last year. If that happens, this trade would turn truly special. But if Kyrie retires early or they just get rid of him and Harden and KD decide to ride it out up there (which is what I kind of think will happen), these are all going to be late picks and the pick swaps will be totally worthless.
     
    #873 Why not?, Jan 14, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2021
  14. BossHogg713

    BossHogg713 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2011
    Messages:
    2,655
    Likes Received:
    2,704
    Stephen Silas was just on Sports Talk 790. Here are some highlights from the interview.

    - I was excited to coach Russ and James. Hall of fame player in James. Other circumstances in the NBA that creep in and make it hard to keep it together. We all tried our best and it didn't work out. Moving forward it's time to reset and look forward to guys coming in, concentrate on guys we have. Win games.

    -- Mason Jones is playing tonight.

    -- Is it a disappointment level that you couldn't see what you could do with James? It would have been great for it all to work out with James, for the team, for himself etc.

    -- If you are not totally committed, it is hard to be at your best. (Basically saying Harden having issues with everything going on, it's hard to commit)

    - John is going to takeover, it's his team. Leader of the team. Using this as a reset to allow guys to see who's going to do what.

    -- Appreciates DeMarcus drive and helping out his teammates. Togetherness. He is a good basketball player.
     
    Vivi, joshuaao, linvetb6 and 2 others like this.
  15. francis 4 prez

    francis 4 prez Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Messages:
    22,021
    Likes Received:
    4,534
    it's not "impressive" but it's hardly out of the ordinary for a game 7, which are usually low-scoring defensive affairs. lakers/celtics game 7 in 2010 was ugly AF. cavs/warriors was like 93-89 with lebron shooting 9/24 and curry 6/19. kawhi just threw up a 6/22 game 7. 32/7/6 on 29 shots as the lone star against an elite defense has won plenty of game 7's. having some blatantly obvious foul calls go his way would have helped, but i digress

    that's the thing, harden only has his bad games remembered. like look at the 2015 game 5 with 12 turnovers. in the first 4 games of that series, against a 67 win team with the #1 defense, harden did:

    game 1 - 28/11/9 on 55% shooting (not true shooting, fg%)
    game 2 - 38/10/9 on 62%
    game 3 - bad in a blowout
    game 4 - 45/9/5 on 59%

    that's 3 amazing games out of 4 and 2 of them are some of the highest game scores of the entire last playoff decade in the nba. those would be a good first 4 games for lebron, much less a random star. and we were still down 3-1 and were only 1-2 in the 3 amazing games he had. but all people remember is the game 5. was it comically bad? sure. were we going to win a series where we won 1 out of 3 amazing games from harden and lost his bad game by 30? no.
     
    jordnnnn, HP3 and D-rock like this.
  16. D-rock

    D-rock Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    Messages:
    40,316
    Likes Received:
    63,043
    The BKN picks and picks swaps will be low 20's or worse until after 2025.

    And LOL at the Athletic for thinking MDA cannot find a way to weaponize THREE top 20 players and 3 of the greatest offensive players in the modern era.

    The spacing will be insane.

    Harden at PG, Kyrie at SG and Durant at F is unstoppable because doubling even ONE of those guys would be suicide.

    Harden will not have to deal with double teams for the 1st time in years.
     
    Patience, Reeko and HP3 like this.
  17. TEXNIFICENT

    TEXNIFICENT Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Messages:
    7,293
    Likes Received:
    5,655
    WOW.
     
    D-rock likes this.
  18. ElPigto

    ElPigto Member
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2006
    Messages:
    12,677
    Likes Received:
    19,183
    Yeah. I mean this is what we wanted for Harden to have all along, shooters all around him. I mean what made that 2017-2018 team so lethal is that when you went with the small ball line up, everyone was a good shooter and a good defender. Harden is a capable defender, so is Durant, so is Jeff Green. I don't know about Harris or Irving, but Harden has plenty of help around there at least offensively.

    I have no doubt in my mind that Nets will go all the way to the finals as long they have health. A clash with the Lakers will be a very entertaining series.

    Of course, I hope they implode in the regular season and the suck.
     
    D-rock likes this.
  19. Mr. Space City

    Joined:
    May 2, 2009
    Messages:
    30,674
    Likes Received:
    35,814
    hahaha a pg coming off an achilles injury who accomplished nothing and hangs out with gang members is gonnabe the leader of the team....
     
    D-rock likes this.
  20. francis 4 prez

    francis 4 prez Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Messages:
    22,021
    Likes Received:
    4,534
    since history played out the way it did for tmac and dirk, people forget tmac just basically trashed dirk for an entire series. tmac averaged 31/7/7 (back when those were huge numbers) and was the primary defender on dirk and held dirk to an unbelievable 35% from the field for a whole series.
     
    D-rock and HP3 like this.

Share This Page

  • About ClutchFans

    Since 1996, ClutchFans has been loud and proud covering the Houston Rockets, helping set an industry standard for team fan sites. The forums have been a home for Houston sports fans as well as basketball fanatics around the globe.

  • Support ClutchFans!

    If you find that ClutchFans is a valuable resource for you, please consider becoming a Supporting Member. Supporting Members can upload photos and attachments directly to their posts, customize their user title and more. Gold Supporters see zero ads!


    Upgrade Now