NEW YORK — The Brooklyn Nets have reportedly acquired former NBA MVP James Harden in a blockbuster four-team trade.
Brooklyn reportedly sent the Houston Rockets:
They also traded center Jarrett Allen and forward Taurean Prince to the Cleveland Cavaliers, who in turn sends guard Dante Exum to Houston and a 2022 first-round pick that they acquired from the Milwaukee Bucks.
In addition, the Rockets reportedly got forward Victor Oladipo from the Indiana Pacers in exchange for LeVert.
Lastly, the Nets also got a 2024 second-round pick from the Cavaliers.
According to published reports, the first-round picks Brooklyn sent are unprotected and for 2022, 2024, and 2026. The pick swaps are for 2021, 2023, 2025, and 2027.
Harden joins his former teammate, two-time NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant, and the enigmatic six-time All-Star Kyrie Irving, who has missed several games in a row for “personal reasons,” and was reportedly seen attending a virtual event for Manhattan District Attorney candidate Tahanie Aboushi on Tuesday night while the Nets were warming up for a game against the Denver Nuggets.
Durant and Harden were both drafted by the Oklahoma City Thunder, but Harden was traded to Houston after the team lost to LeBron James and the Miami Heat in 2012 NBA Finals.
Harden has lead the NBA in scoring in each of the last three seasons, but, following perceived playoff disappointments, it was widely reported that he requested a trade out of Houston. He did not attend the start of Rockets training camp this season, and was seen on social media celebrating rapper Lil Baby’s birthday a move that reportedly angered many teammates.
The trade came less than 24 hours after tensions rose following comments that the former MVP made after a 117-110 loss to the Los Angles Lakers:
“We are just not good enough,” he said. “Chemistry, talent-wise, just everything. They [Lakers] are a veteran team, a championship team, and one of the best teams that we have in this league. I love this city. I’ve literally done everything I can. This situation is crazy. It’s something that I don’t think it can be fixed.”
In Brooklyn, Harden reunites with Mike D’Antoni, who took a job as an assistant with the Nets after his contract with Houston was not renewed.
The Nets are 7-6 this season despite Irving and Durant only playing in seven and nine games, respectively.