The James Harden saga ended on Wednesday when the Houston Rockets traded him to the Brooklyn Nets as part of a four-team trade, according to multiple reports.
- James Harden will link up with former teammate Kevin Durant in Brooklyn
- Harden was told not to train with Houston on Wednesday after he said the team was “not good enough”
- Aussie guard Dante Exum will move from Cleveland to Houston as part of the multi-player trade deal
Earlier reports suggested the Philadelphia 76ers were preparing to trade Australian star Ben Simmons for Harden, before the Nets deal was announced.
The move sees Harden, 31, reunited with former Oklahoma City Thunder teammate Kevin Durant. They played together for three seasons before Harden was dealt to the Rockets in 2013.
The trade comes one day after a disgruntled Harden went on a postgame rant following Tuesday’s 117-100 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.
“I mean, this situation is crazy. It’s something that I don’t think can be fixed,” Harden said.
“We’re just not good enough — chemistry, talent-wise, just everything. And it was clear these last two games.
The Rockets told Harden not to attend Wednesday’s practice, with coach Stephen Silas saying it was “best for the group and for James”.
Harden has been upset with the Rockets since the departures of coach Mike D’Antoni and general manager Daryl Morey after last season.
An eight-time All-Star, Harden has three years, $133 million with a player option for the final season remaining on his current deal.
Harden is averaging 24.8 points per game — down from his career average of 25.2 — after reporting late to training camp. However, his assists are up to 10.4 per game from a career average of 6.3.
Harden has led the NBA in scoring in each of the past three seasons with averages of 30.4, 36.1 and 34.3.
Aussie Dante Exum switches as part of multi-player, multi-team deal
Australia’s Dante Exum will move from the Cleveland Cavaliers to Houston as part of the deal.
As well as Exum, Houston reportedly received guard Victor Oladipo from the Indiana Pacers and forward Rodions Kurucs of the Nets.
It also received three first-round draft picks from the Nets, one unprotected 2022 first-round pick from the Cleveland Cavaliers (via the Milwaukee Bucks) and the right to swap four first-round picks with the Nets.
Guard Caris LeVert and a second-round pick will go from the Nets to the Pacers, and centre Jarrett Allen and forward Taurean Prince go from Brooklyn to the Cavaliers with Cleveland sending a 2024 second-round pick to the Nets.
The first-round picks Houston received from the Nets are in 2022, 2024, 2026. The swaps are in 2021, 2023, 2025 and 2027.
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