Could We Have Traded for Harden?

James Harden got traded to Houston. Guess extension talks weren't going so good. Anyway, the deal:

HOU: Jeremy Lamb, Kevin Martin, 2 first round picks, 1 second round pick

OKC: Harden, Lazar Hayward, Cole Aldridge, Daequan Cook

Looking at that trade... that's really not all that much. Put the Rocket's trade docket against one I could see the Warriors at least inquiring about:

GSW: Klay Thompson, 1 first rounder (none-consecutive with the one we owe the Jazz) that's unprotected, Jarret Jack or Carl Landry or Draymond Green (or a combination of two of them).

I think some sort of variation of that is better than Lamb, Martin, and 2 picks (the second rounder is inconsequential). Why? Well, let's break it down:

Top tier section: HOU--Lamb vs. GSW--Thompson

The most important part of this trade is who's going to replace Harden. I think GSW wins this, as Klay is more established and is probably the better shooter, providing more of an instant scoring punch a good 6th man brings. I mean, just think of it this way: would you trade Klay for Lamb?

Second tier: HOU--Martin vs. GSW--Landry/Jack/Green

Put up any of the three against Martin and I'm sure we'd win. Martin is inefficient, expensive, and makes Monta Ellis look like Tony Allen. All three of our boys are cheaper and Green is significantly younger. Jack could be utilized by OKC better than Martin would be, as the primary ball handler of the second unit, which Harden did for them. Landry could become their second or third big off the bench.

Picks: HOU--2 vs. GSW--1

Now, the first rounders are from Dallas and Toronto, for the upcoming 2013 Draft. Dallas will be either in the playoffs, or else damn near the bottom of the lottery. Toronto has the advantage of playing in the East--on top of getting together a respectable lineup of players, that pick might just end up falling out of the lottery. On top of these less than desirable drafting positions (one could almost call them... Warriors-esque), this is a pretty weak draft. Rest assured there will be no PJIII or Jared Sullinger around when they pick. Unless David Stern wants to see how many fans he can piss off, there will be no ballot stuffing (or ball-tampering [giggity]). No, Shabazz Muhammad will not be on the Thunder. I think Mr. Presti, and really any sensible person, will agree with me when I say this: the Warriors have less of a chance of making the playoffs than Toronto (in a weak conference, mind you) and Dallas (Dirk is a beast, surgery be damned). Since less chance of playoff = higher chance of better pick, our one pick should be better then Houston's 2.

I'd also like to add our hypothetical trade works better. Thabo Sefelosha will probably continue to start. Why did they acquire two more 2's? Our trade is more even across the board. The only edge Houston's has is in their draft picks, but I doubt Houston is in the bottom 4 for both years.

So, did we have a chance? Would you trade Klay + others for Harden? I would. Comment below.

Now for some closing comments not related to this hypothetical scheme. I think it sucks that OKC had to give up a player they drafted fair and square. This new CBA was meant to stop the big market teams from dominating the league. Well, this offseason Steve Nash got traded over to LA, for draft picks likely in the high 20s. No. 27+No. 28=future Hall of Famer? Then, they got Dwight Howard for Andrew Bynum (sans knees).

Both trades, both fair. But it illustrates the point that larger markets clearly have an advantage over the smaller guys. Meanwhile in Oklahoma, they have to give away Harden because of potential financial backlash. What? They cant keep the guy they drafted cause he's too good at playing basketball (y'know... the reason they drafted him), but just months before LA just trades for more talent?

It does come down to owners, and their willingness to pay out of pocket for talent. But at the same time, smaller market means smaller revenue. Unless, of course, said team is good. Like, really good. Good enough to make the finals. But to have that, you need good players. Like, real good players. Players good enough to have a maximum contract. Is this the result of penny-pinching ways? Thoughts on the differing summers of the epitome of a big market (LA) versus the quintessential small market (OKC) under this new CBA?

This FanPost is a submission from a member of the mighty Golden State of Mind community. While we're all here to throw up that W, these words do not necessarily reflect the views of the GSoM Crew. Still, chances are the preceding post is Unstoppable Baby!

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