The trade is now official. The Brooklyn Nets released a statement from general manager Sean Marks following the deal.
Adding an All-NBA player such as James to our roster better positions our team to compete against the league’s best. James is one of the most prolific scorers and playmakers in our game, and we are thrilled to bring his special talents to Brooklyn. While we are excited to welcome James and his family to the Nets, we also want to thank the players who are departing. Caris, Jarrett, Rodions and Taurean were instrumental to the team’s success and have made an enormous impact on our organization. It has been a pleasure watching them grow both as players and as people and they will always be part of our Nets family. We wish each of them and their families all the best in the future.
The James Harden saga in Houston is over.
The Rockets have traded the three-time NBA scoring champion to the Brooklyn Nets in a four-way deal that includes the Cleveland Cavaliers and Indiana Pacers, per multiple reports.
Houston is receiving Caris LeVert, Dante Exum, Rodions Kurucs, four first-round picks – including the Cavs’ 2022 first rounder via the Bucks – and four Nets pick swaps.
The Cavs are receiving Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince.
Per NBA Insider Shams Charania, the Rockets are flipping LeVert and a second rounder to the Indiana Pacers for Victor Oladipo.
Harden now joins a Nets roster that includes fellow All-Stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving but loses some key role players in Allen and LeVert.
Harden has been unhappy in Houston since the end of last season, with things reaching a breaking point on Tuesday after he publicly called out the organization and his teammates and said the situation “can’t be fixed” following a loss to the Lakers.
Brooklyn, meanwhile, is dealing with drama of their own as Irving has not played since Jan. 5 for “personal reasons,” but it is uncertain if that played a factor in its pursuit of Harden.
The Rockets were also reportedly fielding offers from the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday, with Ben Simmons being the potential centerpiece of a deal.
Harden, 32, is a 10-time All-Star and three-time scoring champion, although his numbers have been down through the first eight games of the season this year. He is averaging 24.8 points, 10.4 assists and 5.1 rebounds thus far this season after averaging a league-best 34.3 points per game last year.
Oladipo, 28, is arguably the next biggest star involved in the deal. He is averaging 20 points, 5.7 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game through nine games this season in Indiana as he bounces back from a ruptured quad tendon.