Monday , Oct , 29 , 2012 Andrew Flint

Trade Alert: James Harden Traded To Houston

James Harden Traded To Houston Rockets

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The dream is over in Oklahoma. Lakers will now win the West.

Trade Alert: James Harden Traded To Houston

After James Harden turned down a 52-million dollar deal earlier in the week, Oklahoma City fans were getting more and more nervous about how Harden’s finances were going to fit into this mid-sized market’s payroll. In the end, Harden chose money over loyalty and I don’t blame him.

This is Harden’s time to cash in as setup his family’s finances for life. He took what will reportedly be a max-contract with the Houston Rockets over a significantly smaller offer from the Thunder.

Oklahoma City fans were still shocked by this development and continued to hold out optimism that in the end Harden would remain true to the team and the city where he blossomed into a dominant player. The problem is Harden is truly a dominant NBA player and wants to be paid as such. The Thunder recognize Harden’s the 3-man in their Big Three, but they need to save money for Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook who are their number 1 and 2 priorities. This doesn’t even begin to consider Surge Ibaka who is absolutely critical to and potential Thunder success in the future as their only significant inside presence.

In the end, this mid-sized market simply didn’t have the deep pockets cities like Los Angeles and New York have to drop $100 million on payroll. The trade sends James Harden, Cole Aldrich, Daequan Cook, and Lazar Hayward to Houston in exchange for Kevin Martin and Jeremy Lamb. The consequences of this cook are that Houston now has an inquisitive combination of Lin and Harden handling the rock. The West is now the Lakers’ to lose and the Thunder are significantly weaker. Oh, one more thing, Miami is even more a lock to repeat and NBA champs. Who says mid-market teams don’t impact the NBA?

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