This happened late last night during the Oklahoma/Notre Dame game (Awkward, right? Way to take the attention of Little Game Bob losing another home game this year, Sam Presti), but Oklahoma City decided to part ways with James Harden. They traded him for Jeremy Lamb, Kevin Martin and a much of draft picks. Houston also got Cole Aldrich, Daequan Cook, and Lazar Hayward.
So basically, James Harden will get a max deal with the Houston Rockets, and probably miss the playoffs this year instead of taking the 52 dollar million extension from Oklahoma City. It’s funny how these types of situations occur in the league. As a Laker fan, I remember Trevor Ariza in 2009 asking for A LOT to stay in LA instead of taking a little bit of a discount to stay put and try to win.
Do I fault Harden for wanting to get paid? Not even close. If you think you’re a max deal player, and you think you’re that good, get your money. But, the fact that Oklahoma City traded 1/3 of their scoring to Houston shows that Sam Presti wanted to get something in return instead of letting Harden walk in the off-season.
I still don’t like this trade from Oklahoma City’s standpoint personally. Sure, you’re gonna make the playoffs, and you’ll be a top 4 seed in the Western Conference, but you’re giving up a chance to win a title for a couple of years. Yes, I do like how they stole draft picks from Houston, and stole a potential superstar in Jeremy Lamb, but you can’t expect Kevin Martin to be like Harden off the bench. In my opinion, I feel like Oklahoma City took a step back for not just this season, but next season because think about it… Kendrick Perkins isn’t that good, and he’s not an offensive type of player, and most likely won’t even be on the roster next year.
So basically, you could potentially ruin Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook’s career here by doing this. Sure, those two guys plus Ibaka will be the remaining core, and they are still young. But you can’t help and wonder if Presti is just waiting for the remainder of the other teams in the West. If that’s the case, nice trade Sam Presti.
I don’t even know what Houston is doing personally.
They overpaid Jeremy Lin, and now they are about to overpay James Harden. Put it like this: Their starting backcourt is gonna be one of most overpaid backcourts in the NBA. I’m not saying Lin or Harden are bad. They are good young players, but you can’t be THAT desperate to sell tickets, and overpay to get a “star” in James Harden.
I told my friend Jared this earlier today that James Harden has just turned into another Joe Johnson. Good player, not really a star, and he’ll probably disappear when the moment shines on him (That already happened with Mr. Beard in the NBA Finals this year). Harden will probably be an all-star caliber player. In fact, he’ll probably make a Houston a better team, but just how good will they be? How good will he be?
James Harden, you have A LOT to live up to.
Oklahoma City, did you make the right move in getting rid of your 6th man of the year, and a third of your offense?
We’ll find out in a what seems to be like a dope NBA season.