The Houston Rockets finally managed to get a trade done involving former NBA MVP James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets. In grand fashion, it was achieved in a blockbuster four-team trade involving the Cleveland Cavaliers and Indiana Pacers.
According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Rockets sent James Harden to the Nets in exchange for Victor Oladipo, Dante Exum, Rodions Kurucs, three first-round picks (2022, 2024, 2026), 2022 first-round pick (via MIL), and first-round pick swaps (2021, 2023, 2025, 2027).
There was a lot more to this trade than just what the Nets and Rockets got out of it. Brooklyn sent Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince to the Cleveland Cavaliers— helping the logistics of the salary cap to make it happen.
Another blockbuster element of this trade featured the Pacers sending Victor Oladipo to the Rockets while landing Caris LeVert and a second-round pick from the Nets. There wasn’t quite as much drama with the Pacers and Oladipo compared to the Rockets and Harden, but that was a situation that needed resolution of its own, too.
The focus for the Nets will shift to getting Kyrie Irving back with the team and actually playing in games. He has been on a strange, unexplained absence and without him, it will be incredibly difficult for the group to achieve their goals.
There just simply isn’t enough depth left for the Nets to field a highly successful team without Kyrie Irving playing. Brooklyn still has Joe Harris, DeAndre Jordan, Landry Shamet, Bruce Brown, and Jeff Green, but there is a need to get creative to fill out the rotation.
Having James Harden and Kevin Durant to set the tone in the playmaking department will raise the floor for the Brooklyn Nets to a high level. Next, turning to free agency to add some respectable contributors could be the next course of action.