James Harden Traded To Nets In Swaps Involving 4 Teams: The deed is done. James Harden was traded by the Houston Rockets on Wednesday, and the landscape of the NBA changed along with it.
The Rockets dealt Harden to the Brooklyn Nets in a wild 4-team swap. Per Shams Charania of The Athletic, here’s what those two clubs, along with the Indiana Pacers and Cleveland Cavaliers, wound up with.
James Harden Traded To Nets In 4-Team Swap
- Rockets: Victor Oladipo, Dante Exum, Rodions Kurucs, 3 Nets first-rounders (22, 24, 26), 1 Milwaukee Bucks first (22, unprotected), 4 Nets 1st-round swaps (21, 23, 25, 27)
- Nets: James Harden
- Pacers: Caris LeVert, 2nd-rounder
- Cavs: Jarrett Allen, Taurean Prince
Sources: Full current trade:
Rockets: Victor Oladipo, Dante Exum, Rodions Kurucs, 3 BKN first-rounders (22, 24, 26), 1 MIL first (22, unprotected), 4 BKN 1st round swaps (21, 23, 25, 27)
Nets: James Harden
Pacers: Caris LeVert, 2nd-rounder
Cavs: Jarrett Allen, Taurean Prince
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 13, 2021
- Get: James Harden
- Lose: Caris LeVert, Taurean Prince, Rodions Kurucs, and Jarrett Allen
The Nets did it, they got their man. James Harden is officially headed over to Brooklyn to form a three-headed monster with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving (when Irving feels like returning).
As things stand, this team is likely to be the favorite in the East with this move. Losing Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen hurts, but this league is the most top-heavy of any sport. You can lose high-end role players and live to see another day if superstars are healthy and active.
Harden should suck up all of LeVert’s role and then some. DeAndre Jordan will go from a DNP-CD (did not play, coach’s decision) back to a 20-minute-per-game role in place of Allen. Kurucs and Prince were just depth pieces whose roles will be replaced handily by Jeff Green and the starters.
It's been a slow start to the season for James Harden. Unfortunately, he's only averaging 25-10-5-1-1 on 61% TS so far
— Jackson Frank (@jackfrank_jjf) January 13, 2021
James Harden’s dad-bod physique is an obvious issue, but he has been productive nevertheless. Harden should slide right into a high-usage role in Brooklyn with little-to-no fantasy value lost with this transition. He is as elite an offensive player as they come and will mesh well with former teammate Durant in a shared primary role until Irving returns.
Once (if?) Irving returns, then things get a tad tricky for fantasy basketball. These three usage monsters will only have one ball to share. It is extremely likely that they are staggered throughout games so that at least one is on the floor at all times, similar to what the Warriors did with Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, and Klay Thompson. Also, it is possible that rest days are allotted to the injury-prone Irving and post-achilles Durant. During those days two of the three stars can compensate for a down game when all three were active.
As a fantasy boost, this team will probably leak points after losing Jarrett Allen and adding a liability like Harden to the backcourt. They were 11th in defensive rating coming into Wednesday and that should dip soon and increase the offensive volume. The Nets were 4th in PACE and could hit first if things break right.
As the old saying goes, “a rising tide lifts all boats". From a pure basketball perspective, Harden’s fit is perfect for the offense and none of these guys should be hurt substantially when all three are active.
As of Wednesday evening, they’re now the clear favorites to Win the Eastern Conference (+125), vaulting past the Milwaukee Bucks (+350). While the shift is to be expected after they acquired one of the league’s premier talents, it is hard to buy the notion that as currently constructed, they are better than the Lakers, Clippers, Bucks, 76ers, or even Celtics. This team is holding itself together with duct tape, and while the Nets have the talent to win it all, championship chemistry is hard to build midseason. With Irving still away from the team along with health and defensive concerns, this is a bet I’d prefer to short more than anything.