I’ve written about trades being “win-wins” before. I’ve seen trades that were “win-wins” many times.
Now a trade that was WIN-WIN-WIN-WIN? Now that’s a different story.
Enter yesterday’s James Harden trade.
The Houston Rockets sent James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets in a blockbuster four-team trade that also involves the Indiana Pacers and Cleveland Cavaliers. Brooklyn dealt Houston a package that includes guard Caris LeVert and three first-round draft picks.
Now, let’s buckle up for the minutiae.
The Rockets will trade LeVert to the Pacers for Victor Oladipo. Center Jarrett Allen and forward Taurean Prince are headed from the Nets to the Cavs, while the Rockets receive Cleveland guard Dante Exum and Brooklyn forward Rodions Kurucs.
Houston also receives three unprotected first-round picks from Brooklyn — in 2022, 2024 and 2026 — plus pick swaps in 2021, 2023, 2025 and 2027, the Nets announced. The Rockets also get Cleveland’s 2022 first-round pick, via the Milwaukee Bucks, and Houston is sending a 2023 second-round pick to the Pacers. Brooklyn also gets a 2024 second-round pick from the Cavaliers.
All that to say that ALL of the teams involved in the trade got better.
The Rockets were able to fetch a lot for Harden, despite the latter putting the team over a barrel with his trade demands. The Nets didn’t have to gut much of their depth — they still have Spencer Dimwiddie (albeit with the injury) and Joe Harris. The Pacers upgraded from Oladipo to Levert. And the Cavs got some damn good players and decent draft capital.
Now how crazy-ass Kyrie Irving will handle having Harden AND Kevin Durant as teammates, that will determine if this trade will be the ultimate success or not.