James Harden gets long-awaited move away from Houston, joins Kevin Durant at Brooklyn Nets


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.

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

Dante Exum, right, is heading to Houston.(AP: Ben Gray)

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.

Reuters/ABC

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Kevin Durant, Paul George, Charles Barkley TNT interviews after Nets v Warriors, Lakers v Clippers


Kevin Durant’s impressive return: 22 points, five rebounds, three assists and one extremely awkward interview.

After the Brooklyn Net’s 125-99 season-opening victory over the Warriors, Durant did a brief interview with TNT’s “Inside the NBA.”

Questions by Charles Barkley and crew were met mostly by short, serious responses.

Afterwards, Barkley, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal proceeded to mock Durant with a series of questions and disinterested replies among themselves.

The forward’s interview came one week after Barkley eviscerated Durant’s teammate Kyrie Irving for the point guard’s media boycott. According to USA Today, Barkley later said he believed that was the reason for Durant’s peculiar responses.

It was only the start of the interview weirdness on the network. After the Clippers’ 117-109 victory over the Lakers in the nightcap, Paul George was asked about him and Kawhi Leonard receiving “preferential treatment” by the team last season.

After George’s straightforward response, Barkley and Smith debated the issue as George awkwardly waited.

George scored 26 of his 33 points in the second half as the Clippers kept the Lakers at bay.

“I got into a good rhythm making plays for the team,” George said. “That’s how I catch fire — I let the game come to me. I took the shots when they were available.” Kawhi Leonard added 26 points for the Clippers, who are out to expunge the memory of their agonising Western Conference semi-finals loss to the Denver Nuggets, who trailed 3-1 in the series but won in seven games.

LeBron James led the Lakers with 22 points. Anthony Davis added 18 and German point guard Dennis Schroder — a new addition — scored 14 points with 12 rebounds and eight assists.

– New York Post with AFP



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Kevin Durant buys stake in Philadelphia Union: 7 other athletes who are MLS team owners


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