By Alex Barth, 985TheSportsHub.com
The NBA’s two biggest circuses combined on Wednesday, when superstar James Harden was traded from the Houston Rockets to the Brooklyn Nets. Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelbure of ESPN were the first to report the deal.
In a four-team swap, Houston received Victor Oladipo, Dante Exum, four first-round picks, and four first-round pick swaps. Of the other teams involved, the Indiana Pacers added Caris LeVert and a second-round pick, while the Cleveland Cavaliers picked up Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince.
The deal comes the day after Harden walked out of a press conference early. Before cutting his time short, the eight-time All Star blasted the Rockets organization, saying the relationship between him and the franchise “can’t be fixed.”
Entire press conference comment from James Harden: pic.twitter.com/S7jGBd6Pf3— Noah Magaro-George (@N_Magaro) January 13, 2021
According to a report earlier in the day from Marc Stein, the Philadelphia 76ers were the next closest contender to land Harden. The reported package centered around Ben Simmons, and also included standout rookie Tyrese Maxey. At various points throughout the multi-month Harden sage, the Raptors, Bucks, Heat, and Celtics had also been rumored trade partners.
This all comes as the latest Kyrie Irving saga hits a new high (or low, depending on how you look at it). Irving hasn’t played a game for the Nets since last week, due to simply not wanting to play. Over the weekend, he was pictured at a crowded gathering celebrating his sister’s 30th birthday. On Wednesday, it was reported that the team is frustrated with Irving, and that the 28-year-old point guard may be willing to sit out the remainder of the season. The uncertainty around that relationship reportedly drove the Nets to swing the deal for Harden.
With all their talent and all their drama, the Nets have started the season 6-6 and are currently the seven seed in the Eastern Conference. Will this move help get them back on the right track, or will things only get worse before they get better?
Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at Alexander.Barth@bbgi.com.