Trade grades are one of the most fun aspects of blockbuster deals. In one of the most anticipated moves of the season, James Harden of the Houston Rockets has finally been traded. Harden got his wish and will play for the Brooklyn Nets with his former teammate Kevin Durant. After two blowout losses in a row to the Los Angeles Lakers, Harden was officially done giving Houston chances. They had dropped to 3-6 and their chances of contending for a title this season were slim to none.
Not 24 hours later, the deal was done. Harden to the Nets is the headliner but there is plenty of intrigue with the other parts of the deal. Let’s take a look at who went where and examine how much every team benefited from this trade.
James Harden Trade Grades
The Cleveland Cavaliers had the smallest role in the trade but may have come out as the biggest winners. They gave up a future Milwaukee first-round pick, a second-round pick, and Dante Exum for Taurean Prince and Jarrett Allen. While none of these are big names, Allen is an absolute stud. Allen is averaging a double-double and 1.6 blocks per game while making over 67 percent of his field-goal attempts in this young season. All that in only 26 minutes per game.
The Cavaliers got one of the best young centers in the league for two picks that will likely amount to nothing and a below-average guard. Not to mention the fact that Prince is a solid wing shooter who can help a Cavaliers team that is riddled with injuries.
Arguably the biggest surprise is the inclusion of the Indiana Pacers in this trade. Coming out of nowhere, Indiana gave up Victor Oladipo to Houston for Caris LeVert and a second-round pick. Second-rounders are basically worthless so this was an insurance policy for Indiana. Now they do not have to worry about Oladipo leaving them in the summer since LeVert is signed until the summer of 2023. While he is a downgrade from Oladipo, LeVert is two years younger and will be significantly cheaper. This hurts the Pacers’ ceiling for this season but probably helps them in the long term.
The Rockets claimed they wanted a blue-chip prospect in return for someone as valuable as Harden. After all, he is an MVP caliber player. Instead, …read more