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James Harden Traded to Houston

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The defending Western Conference champion Oklahoma City Thunder have traded last year's Sixth Man of the Year, James Harden, to the Rockets in a multi-player deal. Trade details are as follows.

Rockets get-

James Harden

Daequan Cook

Lazar Hayward

Cole Aldrich

Thunder get-

Kevin Martin

Jeremy Lamb

Two first rounders and a second rounder.

Is this the beginning of the death of the small-market team? Can OKC still contend? Who wins this trade? Have at it, ladies and gentlemen.

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Wow, this deal is stupid. This trade will bite back on OKC's butt.

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For some reason I don't like the trade for either team. I know this makes no sense, but I feel like the Thunder could have gotten more for Harden, while the Rockets gave up too much.

Kevin Martin shooting percentage dropped last year. I don't know why (he may have been hurt) but he's coming off what might have been his worst season. To me, Sefolosha is the same player, but plays better defense. I feel like the Thunder could have gotten something else instead of Martin. I like Jeremy Lamb for OKC. I think he could be a solid player for them in 2 or 3 years.

For Houston, they weren't giong to use their cap room to resign Martin. They've been building assets to land a star player (in my opinion they offered a better deal to the Magic for Howard) and they trade away one big asset (Lamb) and a boatload of picks for James Harden. Now Harden is a good player in his own right, but he's not a superstar, yet. The Rockets are taking a chance on him being a number one or two option right now.

For OKC, the logic of this trade makes sense. They did the same thing with Jeff Green. They weren't going to resign Harden, because of the new cap rules. If Harden resigns for $13 million next year, the Thunder would be paying something like $28 million (including the luxury tax) to keep Harden around, due to the amount of money they've committed to other players.

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OKC offered Harden 4/~$54M and he didn't take it. At that point in time, you've gotta deal him.

I'm with you on this. While it might be controversial to break up the nucleus of a contending team so quickly, if Harden wasn't going to sacrifice a little cash to keep the team together, the deal had to be done. Lamb is a solid prospect, and Martin can probably provide a reasonable facsimile of Harden's production for this year until he walks next summer. At that point, OKC will have cap space (even more if they amnesty Perkins) and multiple draft picks to fill the spot. Houston gives up too much here for a player who has not been even a No. 2 option on his team so far. To give up this much for him seems like a panic move to me.

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If James Harden is this great "max deal" player, why was he on the bench to begin every game?

I have never really understood why teams (like the Spurs with Ginobili) don't get the max amount of minutes out of their star playmakers.

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Why does all of these former all-stars end up in Houston? It seems like Houston is the dumping ground for one-time top-flight NBA talent. They all just disappear.

Yeah, the Rockets tend to make the playoffs most years, but they're out in round 1 or 2 every time. I know their GM is some kind of super mathlete, but the results on the court aren't that great.

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If James Harden is this great "max deal" player, why was he on the bench to begin every game?

I have never really understood why teams (like the Spurs with Ginobili) don't get the max amount of minutes out of their star playmakers.

Although he doesn't start the games for whatever reason (beats me) he averaged 31.4 mpg last year, less than two fewer minutes per game than Dwyane Wade, and had the ball run through him very often late in games. The starting lineups in the NBA are often very deceptive.

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Not an NBA guy in the least, but it seems like Houston is on mission to acquire every "niche" player in the league.

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Not an NBA guy in the least, but it seems like Houston is on mission to acquire every "niche" player in the league.

You know how for a while it seemed like every washed-up or over-the-hill former star player somehow wound up in Dallas (Vince Carter, anyone)? Like Kauz said, seems like Houston's doing the same thing with the younger "stars".

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Don't blame OKC at all for making this deal when they did and in such a hasty manner. If a 6th man turns down the contract that Harden turned down AND there's a deadline fast approaching that could mean the difference between having to deal with that dark contract cloud floating over the team for nearly the entirety of the season, you may as well get what you can while you can.

OKC's still going to finish in the Top 3 in the west. Harden was a luxury, but the core of the team is still mostly intact and they've strengthened the bench with Kevin Martin being the shiniest piece that OKC got back. As far as Houston is concerned, they'll still be in the lotto but they'll at least be a mediocre team instead of a bad one...of course this is all assuming that Harden DOESN'T end up turning into a superstar, which is what a lot of people think Harden can be. Who knows. This was a very intriguing deal, though.

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I think Harden's overrated, but with all the hype around him, OKC should have gotten more for him then Kevin Martin and a rookie who's projected to be the new Kevin Martin.

Martin is a chucker who's been neutered somewhat in the past couple years by rule changes. OKC already has Westbrook's ball-dominant style to worry about, now Martin's going to want his touches too. That means less shots for Durant. This is a huge headache for the Thunder and I think they could finish as low as the 4th seed and a 2nd round exit. The West got a lot more winnable for the Lakers, Clippers, and even an outside shot for the Spurs and Nuggets.

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Not an NBA guy in the least, but it seems like Houston is on mission to acquire every "niche" player in the league.

It's because they use that stupid Moneyball method...I can't think of one team in any sport that's ever won with it.

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It's because they use that stupid Moneyball method...I can't think of one team in any sport that's ever won with it.

How about pretty much any recent champion in baseball, for starters?

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Not an NBA guy in the least, but it seems like Houston is on mission to acquire every "niche" player in the league.

It's because they use that stupid Moneyball method...I can't think of one team in any sport that's ever won with it.

I know they're going all Moneyball with it, but they're throwing good money at guys with such small sample sizes of data. Jeremy Lin obviously had his breakout month, but he wasn't anything special after his injury. I don't think offer sheeting Omer Asik was a good idea either. Centers are hard to come by, but I wouldn't trust him as a starter right now. He might develop into that by the end of the contract, but it's an awful lot to invest in a guy that's never played starting minutes. He was one of my favorite players on the Bulls so I want him to succeed in Houston, I just don't like the odds of it happening.

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Advanced statistical analysis/market inefficiency exploitation doesn't really work in basketball. It's a pretty what-you-see-is-what-you-get league.

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Not an NBA guy in the least, but it seems like Houston is on mission to acquire every "niche" player in the league.

It's because they use that stupid Moneyball method...I can't think of one team in any sport that's ever won with it.

I know they're going all Moneyball with it, but they're throwing good money at guys with such small sample sizes of data. Jeremy Lin obviously had his breakout month, but he wasn't anything special after his injury. I don't think offer sheeting Omer Asik was a good idea either. Centers are hard to come by, but I wouldn't trust him as a starter right now. He might develop into that by the end of the contract, but it's an awful lot to invest in a guy that's never played starting minutes. He was one of my favorite players on the Bulls so I want him to succeed in Houston, I just don't like the odds of it happening.

I'm a little out of my element here as I'm not really an NBA fan, but my two cents on Asik:

I remember always hearing about how valuable he was and how much of a shame it was that the Bulls weren't gonna be able to match his offer sheet. Then I looked at his stat line. I get that he's being paid for his defense/rebounding, but I was shocked to see that he averaged less than 15 minutes a game. Granted, if you extrapolate his rebounds and blocks out over starter's minutes, it's impressive, but basically what I'm saying is "it's an awful lot to invest in a guy that's never played starting minutes."

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