Houston Rockets Acquire Guard James Harden in Blockbuster Trade with Oklahoma City
After swinging and missing on the past few potential big time trades Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey finally landed his blockbuster deal as the Rockets have acquired reigning Sixth Man of the Year James Harden from the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Thunder received guards Kevin Martin and Jeremy Lamb, two first-round picks and a second-rounder in the deal that basically appeared out of thin air. Oklahoma City also sent center Cole Aldrich and forwards Daequan Cook and Lazar Hayward to Houston.
The Oct. 31 deadline to extend Harden or allow him to become a restricted free agent next July had been hanging over the Thunder.
”We wanted to sign James to an extension, but at the end of the day, these situations have to work for all those involved. Our ownership group again showed their commitment to the organization with several significant offers,” Thunder general manager Sam Presti said in a statement.
Houston plans to sign the 23-year-old guard to a contract extension before the season starts Wednesday with plans to build the roster around a nucleus of he, PG Jeremy Lin and C Omer Asik.
“We are very excited with tonight’s trade,” Rockets Owner Leslie Alexander said in a statement. “While I never like having to send out quality players like Kevin Martin and Jeremy Lamb, this trade gives us a chance to make an immediate impact on the future of our franchise moving forward. James Harden was part of Team USA’s gold medal team at the London Olympics and is one of the most skilled shooting guards in the NBA. James, along with the mix of young players we already have in place such as Jeremy Lin, Chandler Parsons and Omer Asik give us a very solid group of young, talented players who will form the core of our team.”
Harden averaged 16.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists last season, his third out of Arizona State, making 49.1 percent of his shots.