James Harden hasn’t exactly been keeping his unhappiness with the Houston Rockets a secret. Reports of friction and mounting tensions between the NBA All-Star and his teammates, training absences, not to mention the widely circulated images of his pre-season chassis blowout – the ultimate sign of “zero fucks given” – have plagued sports headlines for well over a month now. This was clearly a man who had checked out. But after a frantic 24-hour trade negotiation, a resolution has finally been reached as James Harden prepares to join the Brooklyn Nets.
“We’re just not good enough – obviously, chemistry, talent-wise, just everything – and it was clear these last few games,” Harden told the press after the recent 117-100 defeat to the Los Angeles Lakers; the Rockets’ fourth defeat in the last five games.
“I love this city. I’ve literally done everything that I can. I mean, this situation… it’s crazy. It’s something that I don’t think can be fixed, so, yeah… thanks.”
This development was first confirmed by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and involves both the Indiana Pacers and Cleveland Cavaliers. Houston will acquire Victor Oladipo, Dante Exum, Rodions Kuruc, as well as three of Brookyln’s unprotected first-round draft picks (2022, 2024, 2026), plus another four pick swaps (2021, 2023, 2025, 2027). A future Pacer second-round pick and Cleveland’s 2022 first-round pick via the Milwaukee Bucks have also been thrown into the mix for good measure.
On the other side of this blockbuster affair, Houston has packaged Harden off with Caris LeVert, who will join the former’s Oklahoma City teammate Kevin Durant and fellow All-Star Kyrie Irving.