• Matthew Novak

Nutshell: Analyzing the James Harden Trade

The James Harden blockbuster trade could have several major positives and negatives for the Brooklyn Nets.

James Harden is a Brooklyn Net.


In the NBA, if you pout long enough, you just might get what you want. The disgruntled scoring machine, James Harden, is finally moving on from Houston in a four-team megadeal. The details are as follows:


Brooklyn Nets receive James Harden.


Houston Rockets receive Victor Oladipo, Dante Exum, Rodions Kurucs, 3 first-round picks from Brooklyn (2022,2023, 2024), 1 first-rounder from Milwaukee (2022), and 4 Brooklyn first-round swaps (2021, 2023, 2025, 2027). Jeez.

Cleveland Cavs receive Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince.


Indiana Pacers receive Caris LaVert and a second-round pick.


How will this play out in Brooklyn and for the Eastern Conference?


Positives


The Nets now have three (sometimes two, depending on whether or not prima donna Kyrie Irving feels like playing) highly talented and skilled offensive players on their roster. This will be a nightmare for opposing defenses - you can stop one, but there are still two guys capable of pouring it on any game.


Harden and Durant are friends and co-existed in OKC. It'll take time, but the chemistry will come back. It's also worth noting that Durant successfully adapted to the Golden State Warriors; he should be able to do it again in Brooklyn. Steve Nash and Assistant Mike D'Antoni, who pioneered the ":07 Seconds or Less" offense, will be able to mesh nicely with this three-headed monster that only thinks about getting buckets. The Nets are probably going to be the best offense in the NBA by season's end, the question will be can they play enough defense?


Negatives


Three scoring machines to share one basketball. Professional coaches and professional players should be able to figure this quandary out, but if they don't, it could spell doom for the team. Someone will have to take a backseat. I'll give you a hint...it's that guy who thinks the Earth is flat.


Another negative is what the Nets lost. The Front Office sacrificed youth and depth (Jarrett Allen/Caris LaVert) for a chance to win now and over the next two seasons. Allen and LaVert are homegrown talents who had been playing well and improving their games. I predict they will turn into good, not great, players in the seasons to come but would certainly complement Durant and Kyrie if they had more time to grow together.

This NBA season has already had its mix of surprises, headlines, and COVID scares - this blockbuster trade is just another fun drop in the bucket. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out.


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