James Harden has recently been traded to the Brooklyn Nets in a massive four-team trade. As a result of the trade, many players have gone to new destinations in the NBA. This trade will shake up the dynamic of the league, and each team did what they thought was right for the future of their franchise.
The biggest part of this trade is James Harden moving to the Brooklyn Nets. But other teams got some valuable assets. In this article, we grade how the trade worked out for each team. There are some obvious winners: without further ado, here is how each team did in the James Harden trade. The full contents of the trade are below.
Cleveland Cavaliers: B
Cleveland Cavaliers Receive: Jarrett Allen, Taurean Prince
Jarrett Allen is a good center to have for the future, but he still doesn't have a starting role. Andre Drummond is going to be the starting center in Cleveland for the foreseeable future. However, he is in the last year of his contract, meaning that he could sign elsewhere. Allen provides insurance if that is the case.
Taurean Prince is a solid 3 and D player. Together, this package is a solid return for the Cavaliers, who get two high-floor pieces who can be part of their future plans. Jarrett Allen could really develop into something special, but he needs the consistent playing time that a starting job would provide, and in Cleveland, that is not certain.
Indiana Pacers: B+
Indiana Pacers Receive: Caris LeVert, 2nd round pick
The Indiana Pacers have a knack for savvy trades. They turned Paul George into two All-Star caliber players, and they have now traded away Victor Oladipo in this ridiculous trade. They get Caris LeVert in return: he is a promising shooting guard who will finally get a consistent starting role: Oladipo's departure opens up a lot of touches for LeVert, who will be able to show what he can do as a starter.
Trading an expiring contract for a younger star in LeVert who is locked up for a few years was a genius play from the Indiana Pacers. The second-round pick is just the cherry on top for them, but with their solid drafting history, it could be yet another gem for the Indiana Pacers.
Houston Rockets: A
Houston Rockets Receive: 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)
The Houston Rockets have gotten what they wanted: a monster package for James Harden. Rodion Kurucs is a solid young prospect who can defend and space the floor. Victor Oladipo is the centerpiece of the package: the Rockets get a solid big three in Victor Oladipo, Christian Wood, and John Wall. While Oladipo hits free agency after this season, there would be no reason for him to leave if the Rockets are going to compete.
The four picks and multiple pick swaps can only mean good things for the Houston Rockets. That is a treasure trove of picks for a disgruntled superstar and sets them up nicely after they traded away a lot of picks for Russell Westbrook. The Rockets have easily been one of the winners of this trade.
Brooklyn Nets: A+
Brooklyn Nets Receive: James Harden
By mortgaging their future for a James Harden trade, the Brooklyn Nets hope to compete now. They have created a big three of James Harden, Kevin Durant, and Kyrie Irving, while still retaining solid players like DeAndre Jordan and Joe Harris. James Harden will have two other stars to help him carry the load and can excel in the playoffs as part of a good team.
The Brooklyn Nets are now the favorites in the Eastern Conference. The expectations are championship or bust, but with James Harden, they will have a very good chance of winning. They could face off against the Los Angeles Lakers: that would be quite a sight to see.