Sunday, October 28, 2012
James Harden Gets Traded
James Harden got shipped to the Houston Rockets after passing on a 4 year $54 million contract to stay with the Thunder late last night. OKC receives guards Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb and two first round picks and a secound round pick in the 2013 draft. With Harden, Houston gets Thunder center Cole Aldrich and forwards Daequan Cook and Lazar Hayward.
Harden was a seen as a big piece to the young Thunder squad who made it to the NBA finals last year. He won sixth man of the year, was an Olympian and made big shots throughout the season. But he's the sixth man for a reason, he came off the bench. Those big shots he made during the season and playoffs didn't happen in the finals. He pretty much laid an egg when the light was shined the brightest.
You can't really be throwing money around when you're a small market team and GM Sam Presti had a sign one/trade the other dilemma at the end of last year with center Serge Ibaka and Harden. Serge signed an extension of 4 years, $48 million back in August, Harden was still up in the air. Presti thought he'd stretch his wallet and offer to sign Harden to an extension aswell but it doesn't look like it was enough. Honestly speaking I think Harden is a good player but he's no star. He's a friend with benefits, you have fun times with them thinking they're could be more but they're ultimately a fill-in. He can be replaced very easy and he was.
I know it's roughly been 12 hours since the trade happen and analysing anything is difficult but this is how I take it. For Harden to deny that contract offer, he wanted to be the man. He did extremely well last season and was worth the money but he wanted max player money. There's very few players that deserve max player money. Presti knew Harden is worth every penny of that max deal but he ain't bout that, I bet he had three teams ready to call if Harden said no. Houston was probably first on his list and by the looks of things, Houston is trying to fill seats instead of making a run at the playoffs. This is the same team that threw money at Omer Asik who didn't average more that 8 minutes on the court in Chicago. Oh yeah, they signed the two week sensation Jeremy Lin to $25 mil too. Even Carmelo didn't agree with that.
We won't know until the season starts, which is Tuesday btw, whether or not Harden will be the man in Houston, but I'll tell you this: he can keep wearing those funny looking suits, Houston will still laugh at you.