James Harden Trade: Winners And Losers Of A Blockbuster Trade
A massive trade happened on January 13th, 2021: James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets. In the first 2 weeks of 2021, it’s already a shit show. All that political stuff, everyone, and their mother is out with COVID-19. I don’t even know who is playing in the NBA anymore. Now, we have this massive trade. One by one I’ve had to digest each subject, and the dust hasn’t settled on this trade, but it’s falling. I have my winners and losers.
Biggest Loser: Brooklyn Nets
No, not the weight loss but this is fitting because the Nets lost A LOT. I’m sorry, I just don’t like this trade. Could it be because I think James Harden is a cancer to any and all basketball teams? Yes. Could it be because I think he’s massively overrated by the media? Probably. Either way, this experiment will fail. There’s a reason why James Harden will never win a championship: he can’t play with anyone else, the evidence is there. Now, the Nets have not only traded Caris LeVert AND Jarrett Allen, but they’ve also traded a bunch of picks. LeVert is or was the Nets’ best player outside of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. Jarrett Allen is incredibly underrated and was the Nets’ best player. This has to work or this trade was all for nothing.
By the way, if and when Kyrie Irving plays with now James Harden and Kevin Durant, I have one question: How the fuck is this going to work? Kyrie and Kevin Durant were already questionable but a formidable scoring duo, now you’re adding the most ball-dominant player in the league in James Harden. This offense is going to look horrible and stagnant. I absolutely hate this for the Nets.
Winner…I think?: Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cavs for Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince. They already have Andre Drummond and they’ve added another promising Center in Jarrett Allen. I like that they can have a good center on the court at all times, but it was just a little weird for them to get involved. But it seemed like a good price for a good, young center.
Winner: Indiana Pacers
No offense to Victor Oladipo but Caris LeVert was an upgrade for the Pacers. Dipo has just never had that killer instinct to be a #1 option. LeVert has and will take over games if he needs to. These players are in the same tier but I think LeVert might be better anyway. Now, the Pacers have Malcolm Brogdon, Domantas Sabonis, Myles Turner, Caris LeVert, and are awaiting returns from injury for Jeremy Lamb and TJ Warren. That’s a solid 6 players for the Pacers that could start. Along with some solid role players, this team will try to contend in the playoffs.
Thieves: Houston Rockets
Remember my rant about James Harden earlier? Yeah just repeat that here. But I do like what the Rockets got out of this trade. They got 4 first rounders and 4 1st round swaps with Brooklyn, just on picks alone, I liked it. Throw on the fact the Rockets get Victor Oladipo and they’re thieves. Dipo is on an expiring contract but even if he leaves, that’s great money the Rockets could use in a stacked Free Agency class. If Dipo re-signs, they get a great player. It’s a win-win. Harden is no doubt a better player than Oladipo but Dipo fits way better next to John Wall and Christian Wood than Harden. The Rockets did what they have to do and they will come out as thieves when the James Harden trade fails the Nets.
All in all, the James Harden trade will change the landscape of the NBA as we know it. The question will be is it for better or for worse? The Nets are in championship or bust mode now. If they don’t win a championship, this was all for nothing. All of it: getting KD and Kyrie, trading for Harden, all for nothing. No offense to the Nets but I have to hate them now because they have James Harden. Nothing personal, just priorities.