Blockbuster trade brings James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets


Courtesy Photo

Hunter Burr wears a James Harden jersey from when he was still on the Houston Rockets.

Keegan Honig, Editor

The landscape of the National Basketball Association (NBA) has been shaken up this past week with a blockbuster, four-team trade. Former Most Valuable Player (MVP) recipient James Harden of the Houston Rockets was traded to the Brooklyn Nets. He joins another former MVP Kevin Durant and perirenal all-star Kyrie Irving to form what some are predicting to be the next NBA dynasty. Along with Harden and Durant’s respective MVP awards, these three players combined boast 24 All-Star appearances, 18 All-NBA selections, seven scoring titles, and three championships.

St. Louis High School’s Hunter Burr, an outspoken Harden fan, shared, “I think it’s going to be better for him [Harden] because it’s going to be a new start, and I think he and KD [Durant] will be a good match. I kind of hope they trade Kyrie a little bit because that’s a lot of all-stars, and there’s only so much shot clock for them to all touch the ball and be happy.”

St. Louis students Cade Pestrue and Camron Troyer share the same sentiments about Irving. Troyer stated, “I think it helps the Net’s chances if they get rid of Kyrie. If they keep Kyrie, the three superstars will be too much for the ball.”

Pestrue added, “I just think there are too many ball-dominant all-stars and [only] one ball. They should trade Kyrie for [Russell] Westbrook, so we can have the Thunder’s old big three back.” Pestrue is referring to when the Oklahoma City Thunder made the NBA Finals in 2012, with Durant, Harden, and Westbrook all on the team. Harden was traded to the Rockets later that same year, and Durant and Westbrook moved on to new teams as well.

Notable names also being moved in the deal include Caris LeVert, previously with the Nets, who is heading to the Indiana Pacers, and Victor Oladipo, formerly of the Pacers, heading to Houston. LeVert has shown his skills in Brooklyn, but he has been slightly overshadowed by his all-star peers Irving and Durant. Now that LeVert has been moved, many feel that he will break out as a super-star and could likely be a first-option player for the Pacers. Oladipo has been a reliable all-star player for the Pacers, and now he will join Houston’s John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins to form a trio that can be deadly if they can stay healthy. Additionally, Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince are being moved from the Nets to the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Rockets are receiving Dante Exum from Cleveland and Rodions Kurucs from Brooklyn. There are also many draft picks that were traded as part of this enormous trade.

The brand-new Nets trio could do big things in the future. However, they might not win a title together on this team. Durant, Irving, and Harden are all extremely ball-dominant players, but especially Harden. Harden was third in the league last year in usage percentage, so he’s used to being the one with the basketball in his hands. It will be an interesting experiment to see if these three stars can coexist on the same team. Many feel that after this move, the Nets are a “title or bust” team, so fans will just have to wait and see what transpires in the playoffs. However, no matter what happens with this squad, the creation of this supposed superteam will undoubtedly change the NBA landscape in the near future and beyond.