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James Harden trade winners and losers: Cyberbullying must be unstoppable, rockets launch again with huge moves

The bomb, which the entire NBA world was waiting to go off, finally exploded on Wednesday when the Brooklyn Nets acquired James Harden from the Houston Rockets in a seven-player, four-team deal that dramatically changes the league’s landscape. Harden joins Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn, while the Rockets get away with Victor Oladipo of the Indiana Pacers and a crowd of future first-round picks from the Nets.

This deal has far-reaching ripple effects due to the number of players involved and the size of Harden’s franchise-changing ability. Here’s a look at some winners and losers from the Harden trade, but let̵

7;s go through the details first:

  • Rockets get: Victor Oladipo, Rodions Kurucs, Dante Exum, four unprotected first-round picks (Brooklyn 2022, 2024 and 2026, Milwaukee 2022) and four unprotected first-round picks (2021, 2023, 2025, 2027).
  • Net gets: James Harden
  • Pacers get: Caris LeVert, second round in 2023 (from Houston)
  • Cavaliers get: Jarrett Allen, Taurean Prince

Winner: James Harden

Disagree with his tactics, all you like, but James Harden got what he wanted. He’s on his way to Brooklyn to play with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving about what’s going to be the supposed Eastern Conference favorite. Brooklyn was Harden’s first reported favorite destination, so he’s unlikely to regret the way he handled the start of the season in Houston. It will be exciting to see how Harden adapts his offensive style to fit into Durant, Irving and the Nets, but with three of the top scorers in the league on a team, the Nets will be a must-watch for the foreseeable future.

Winner: Brooklyn Nets

The Nets now have three top-20 players on the same list, making them even more of a title contender than they already were. It really is as simple as that. Depth took a hit, but Steve Nash will tinker with the rotations to make something work, and as our James Herbert detailed, the front office still has opportunities to improve the list. If the Nets stay healthy, they could have the best offense in NBA history (it sounds hyperbolic, but the Dallas Mavericks did it last season with much less star power). According to SportsLine, Brooklyn’s chances of winning the 2020-21 title were almost doubled by acquiring Harden. It makes you a winner every day of the week.

The Sixers were reportedly in an arms race with the Nets for the Harden, and they settled in the losing end. Not only does this mean they are missing out on adding Harden to a team that jumped out to a 7-1 start before the list was exhausted by health and safety protocols, but they also now potentially have to reckon with Durant- Harden-Irving Net in Eastern Conference playoffs. There’s the extra wrinkle that Ben Simmons surely knows now that he was made available in talks, which could upset a 76ers team that has already experienced noticeable chemistry issues in the past.

Winner / Loser: Steve Nash

On the one hand, Nash could end up winning a title in his first year as head coach. On the other hand, he will have to carefully navigate the strong, unique personalities of Harden, Durant and Irving for this season and beyond. It will be interesting to see what things look like after their first extended loss streak. Godspeed, my friend.

Winner: Houston Rockets

The Rockets would likely be considered a winner just to get Harden out of town so they can finally concentrate on basketball, but they also took a legitimate move to their All-NBA guard. Our Sam Quinn rated them pretty hard, suggesting they should have pulled the trigger for Simmons, but the Rockets loaded up for the future with pretty much every first round the Nets could trade, placing them in a similar position to the New Orleans Pelicans. and the Oklahoma City Thunder in terms of future assets.

They also acquired Victor Oladipo, who is two years removed from an All-Star season and should help them in the short term. He’s a free agent after this season, but you’ll have to believe the Rockets intend to sign him, otherwise they would have just taken LeVert as an asset. John Wall, Victor Oladipo, Christian Wood and DeMarcus Cousins ​​should be enough to at least remain competitive this season, then Houston can reconsider its direction at a later date.

You can nod if the Philly package would have put the Rockets in a better position, but there is no denying that they are in an infinitely better place than a few days ago, making them a winner.

Taber: City of Houston

Houston fans are excited about one of the most forward-looking and successful franchises in the NBA since Harden arrived before the 2012-13 season. The Rockets still need to be competitive, but the days of the 55-plus-win seasons are likely to be in the rearview mirror for a while. Depending on how the front office continues, the Rockets could even have a full rebuild on their hands in a few seasons. Houston fans loyally embraced their franchise as they drew anger from many around the world, so it’s a shame to see their moment in the spotlight potentially coming to an end.

Winner: Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavs made some sneaky good moves this offseason, and they pulled another out by getting into this deal and getting away with Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince in the process. Allen had a breakout season for the Nets with an average career high in points (11.2), rebounds (10.4) and blocks (1.6), and all Cleveland gave up in the deal was Dante Exum, who averaged fewer than four points in 19 minutes per game. Match. With Andre Drummond as a free agent this offseason, they can move on with a young core of Allen, Collin Sexton, Darius Garland and Isaac Okoro. Not bad for a rebuilding franchise.

Taber: Taurean Prince

Although he left something to be desired, Prince played at least a meaningful role on a team with NBA championship hopes. Now he will join the Cavaliers, who are likely to be out of the playoffs for most of the season. As time goes on, the Cavs will give as many minutes as possible to develop young players, meaning Prince can find himself collecting DNP CDs for a decent portion of the season. No one will feel sorry for a guy who earns $ 13 million a year, but that’s certainly not an ideal situation for Prince.

Winner: Indiana Pacers

Like the Cavs, the Pacers were an unexpected part of that deal and settled on getting Caris LeVert and another round to Oladipo, who has apparently been somewhat unhappy in Indiana. Especially with the appearance of Malcolm Brogdon and Domantas Sabonis the last couple of seasons, Oladipo’s days in Indiana seemed to be numbered, so it was wise for them to get a quality player like LeVert, signed through 2023, rather than risking Oladipo leaving free agency this offseason.

Winner: Caris LeVert

Even Steve Nash admitted that LeVert is a starting caliber NBA wing, but he was banished to a bench role given the presence of Irving and Durant in Net’s starting lineup. He does not have to worry about it in Indiana, where he immediately goes into the starting lineup and wants to see all the opportunities he can handle, especially with TJ Warren out indefinitely after foot surgery. The Pacers may not be the title contender that the Nets were, but they have gotten off to a good start this season and had to fight for a top-four seed in the East.

The insurmountable favorite to win the Eastern Conference that went into the season saw the Bucks’ attempts to trade with Bogdan Bogdanovic fall through the cracks, and now their boss competition has added a multi-year MVP candidate. Milwaukee probably have nothing to worry about in the regular season and may even end up with the No. 1 seed for the third season in a row, but if they are in a matchup with the nets in the mail season, they will have their hands full.

Winner: Oklahoma City Thunder

Since OKC holds so many future choices, almost any trade will affect them in some way. In this case, the Thunder own the right to swap their first round in 2021 or the Heat’s first round for the Rockets’ first round. This Houston election became much juicier with the team’s overall victory likely declining with Harden’s departure. Miami is off to a slow start, but chances are they will end up with a better record than Houston, meaning Oklahoma City are looking at another potential lottery pick in a packed 2021 draft.

Winner: Trading Requirements

Since Anthony Davis won a title with the Lakers over the summer and now Harden is forcing his way to his favorite destination, superstar players may see this as a plan to get out of an unwanted situation (cc: Bradley Beal). Harden was able to take advantage of the situation despite having two years left on his contract and opened the doors to even earlier demands from stars in the future. The so-called player empowerment era in the NBA is in full swing.

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