January 15, 2021
(Reuters) – The Houston Rockets have traded guard James Harden to Brooklyn, the Nets anounced on Thursday, after the eight-time All-Star’s relationship with the Western Conference team broke down this week.
Harden, the NBA’s MVP in 2018, said the Rockets were “just not good enough” this season as they sit second-bottom in the Western Conference with a 3-6 record, prompting the 31-year-old to say the situation could not be fixed.
Harden’s arrival at the Nets reunites him with forward Kevin Durant — his team mate at Oklahoma City Thunder — and guard Kyrie Irving as the franchise look to form their own All-star trio.
“Adding an All-NBA player such as James to our roster better positions our team to compete against the league’s best,” Nets general manager Sean Marks said in a statement.
“James is one of the most prolific scorers and playmakers in our game, and we are thrilled to bring his special talents to Brooklyn.”
The trade deal also involves the Cleveland Cavaliers, with Nets center Jarrett Allen and forward Taurean Prince moving to the Cavaliers while guard Caris LeVert and forward Rodions Kurucs join the Rockets.
U.S. media reported that LeVert is expected to move to the Indiana Pacers in an exchange deal for All-Star Victor Oladipo.
The Nets, sixth in the Eastern Conference with a 7-6 record, also sent three first round draft picks (2022, 2024 and 2026) and four first round pick swaps (2021, 2023, 2025 and 2027) to Houston.
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)