Well that escalated quickly.
The Houston Rockets have traded disgruntled MVP James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets in a monstrous four-team deal that sends Jarrett Allen to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Caris LeVert to the Indiana Pacers, Victor Oladipo to the Rockets, and every first-round pick that Brooklyn is allowed to trade to Houston.
Sources: Full current trade:— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 13, 2021
Rockets: Victor Oladipo, Dante Exum, Rodions Kurucs, 3 BKN first-rounders (22, 24, 26), 1 MIL first (22, unprotected), 4 BKN 1st round swaps (21, 23, 25, 27)
Nets: James Harden
Pacers: Caris LeVert, 2nd-rounder
Cavs: Jarrett Allen, Taurean Prince
Harden had been pushing for a trade for weeks, with the situation getting awkward and ugly on numerous occasions. He was late to training camp after spending time partying with friends, while the organization didn’t know where he was, and then requested a trade.
When the Rockets were unable to find a trade that worked, Harden reported to the team and started the season, but on Tuesday night things reached a boiling point. Following a second-straight blowout loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, Harden used his postgame media session to essentially declare his time with Houston over.
This is how James Harden walked off the podium tonight. It sounded like a farewell pic.twitter.com/fnY2h6dnHP— Adam Spolane (@AdamSpolane) January 13, 2021
That led to the team asking Harden to stay home from Wednesday’s practice, with some of the Rockets veterans showing much discontent at their MVP’s actions.
DeMarcus Cousins: “The disrespect tarted way before any interview. Just the approach to training camp, showing up the way he did, the antics off the court, the disrespect started way before, so this isn’t something that all of the sudden happened last night..." pic.twitter.com/mLBTKZoN6t— Adam Spolane (@AdamSpolane) January 13, 2021
John Wall: "When you have certain guys in the mix who don't want to buy in all as one it's gonna be hard to do anything special, to do anything good as a basketball team..." pic.twitter.com/HMI9jCAE5J— Adam Spolane (@AdamSpolane) January 13, 2021
Now Harden will head to Brooklyn, a team at the top of his list of choices. He’ll be reunited with Kevin Durant, who he was teammates with on the Oklahoma City Thunder for the first three years of his career.
And in theory, they form an impressive big three with Kyrie Irving, though Irving has been absent from the team, with plenty of rumors swirling that there’s trouble in paradise.
Update on Kyrie situation.— Tommy Dee (@ThomasCDee) January 13, 2021
I’m told he’s been “furious” at the organization for some time for not giving him more input on the head coach hiring.
He was not in favor of Steve Nash.
Also, his relationship with Kevin Durant has been described as “very distant” recently. https://t.co/MS4yvW4x2J
It could be a magical team, or an enormous blowup, but either way it will be must see TV.
It also impacts the Golden State Warriors. The Dubs eliminated Harden from the playoffs in exactly half of his eight full seasons with the Rockets, and their fans delighted in it each time. That’s off the table for now, barring some NBA Finals matchups, but the Western Conference losing an MVP is certainly good for Golden State’s playoff outlook.