James Harden Traded to Brooklyn Nets in 4-Team Blockbuster Deal

The Houston Rockets have traded All-Star shooting guard James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets in a four-team deal.

By Stone Lexington

Updated: Jan. 13, 2021 • 6:10 PM ET

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James Harden has likely put on a Houston Rockets jersey for the last time.

After weeks of voicing his desire to leave the franchise, the Houston Rockets have traded All-Star shooting guard James Harden.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne, the Brooklyn Nets have acquired Harden in a four-team deal that also involves the Cleveland Cavaliers and Indiana Pacers. In the trade, the Rockets will receive three unprotected first-round picks (2022, 2024, 2026) from Brooklyn, the Cavs’ 2022 first-round pick (via Milwaukee Bucks) and pick swap options in 2021, 2023, 2025 and 2027 with the Nets. The blockbuster deal, however, doesn’t end there.

The Rockets also receive Dante Exum and Rodions Kurucs, along with Caris LeVert, who the team immediately shipped to the Pacers in exchange for Victor Oladipo, who is on an expiring contract. Meanwhile, the Cavs will receive 22-year-old center Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince, while the Nets will receive Cleveland’s 2024 second-round pick.

Harden made it clear this season that he no longer wanted to be in Houston after being with the franchise since 2012. It’s also no secret that Harden is one of the best players in the NBA, averaging 25.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 6.3 assists in his career. Harden, however, produced historic scoring numbers over the last three seasons, averaging better than 30 points per game in each campaign (30.4 ppg in 2017-18, 36.1 ppg in 2018-19 and 34.3 ppg in 2019-20).

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Although the Nets relinquished significant assets in the deal, acquiring Harden should establish Brooklyn as the favorite to win the Eastern Conference this season, which they may have already been before the deal. Much of Brooklyn’s success, however, will depend on the status of Kyrie Irving, who has been away from the team for roughly a week for personal reasons. There is no timetable for Irving’s return, but the Nets may need him alongside Harden and superstar Kevin Durant this season if they want to achieve their ultimate goal of winning an NBA championship.