HOUSTON — The Brooklyn Nets have agreed to purchase three-time scoring champion James Harden from the Houston Rockets, a deal that reunites him with Kevin Durant and provides him the transfer that he has looked for weeks, mentioned an individual with information of the state of affairs.
Harden goes to the Nets as a part of a four-team deal that additionally entails Indiana and Cleveland, in accordance to the one that spoke to The Associated Press Wednesday on situation of anonymity as a result of the commerce name with the NBA — which indicators off on all offers — has not been accomplished.
At least 4 draft picks and extra choose swaps are additionally a part of the deal, the individual mentioned. Other key gamers: Victor Oladipo goes from Indiana to Houston, and Caris Levert goes from Brooklyn to Indiana, the individual mentioned, including that Cleveland was additionally a part of the large commerce.
The deal was struck lower than 24 hours after Harden appeared to ship a farewell handle of types following the Rockets’ loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night time.
“We’re just not good enough … I love this city. I literally have done everything that I can,” Harden mentioned Tuesday night time. “I mean, this situation is crazy. It’s something that I don’t think can be fixed.”
It couldn’t, and now he’s gone.
It was apparent the tip was nearing Wednesday, when the Rockets informed him they didn’t need him at follow after his inflammatory feedback in regards to the workforce.
“We felt it was best for James and best for the group for him not to come to practice,” first-year coach Stephen Silas mentioned. About two hours later, ESPN and The Athletic first reported that Harden was being moved.
The disgruntled famous person had remained quiet by way of months of hypothesis that he was sad in Houston. Silas known as the drama surrounding Harden an “all-around messed up situation.” He was then requested what he considered Harden saying the Rockets are “just not good enough.”
“That’s hard to hear, especially when you don’t believe it and you know it not to be true,” mentioned Silas, who famous he didn’t sleep in any respect on Tuesday night time.
The Rockets start a three-game street journey on Thursday night time with the primary of two straight video games towards San Antonio. The Nets — who now have a Big 3 of their very own with Durant, Harden and Kyrie Irving, or will when Irving returns to the workforce — have been taking part in in New York towards the Knicks on Wednesday.
The Rockets are simply 3-6 up to now this season and solely Minnesota has a worse document within the Western Conference. The workforce is clearly in disarray and new arrival John Wall known as the state of affairs “rocky.”
“There has to be some sort of resolution, whether it’s a complete buy-in at some level or some other way to kind of get it taken care of,” Silas mentioned. “So, yeah, it’s not it’s not an easy situation by any stretch of the imagination. But the team atmosphere… the good of the team, I say everybody needs to be pointed in the same direction and that’s what’s best.”
Harden gained every of the final three scoring titles by notable margins — 2.3 factors over Anthony Davis in 2017-18, 8.1 factors over Paul George in 2018-19 and three.8 factors over Bradley Beal final season. His 24.8-point common up to now this season ranked 18th within the NBA, nonetheless placing him among the many leaders however clearly nicely off his regular tempo.
He’s averaged not less than 25 factors per sport in every of his eight full seasons with the Rockets, however he has by no means been in a position to get the workforce, which hasn’t gained a title since profitable two straight in 1994-95, previous the Western Conference finals.
Harden reported late for camp. He additionally was fined $50,000 earlier this season for conduct detrimental to the league associated to him not following the well being and security protocols put into place by the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association for navigating a season through the pandemic.
AP Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds contributed.