Breaking NBA news: Rockets star James Harden traded to the Brooklyn Nets

By Vincent Frank
Dec 28, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) lines up a shot on Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) in the third quarter at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

It has finally happened. The NBA news we have been waiting months for has come to fruition. Three-time reigning scoring champion James Harden has been traded from the Houston Rockets to the Brooklyn Nets.

Shams Charania of The Athletic was the first to report the news, indicating that a one of the biggest blockbusters in NBA history had gone down Wednesday afternoon. Simply put, this is earth shattering NBA news early on in the 2020-21 season.

Related: NBA power rankings for 2021-22 season

Details of blockbuster James Harden trade

NBA news: James Harden trade
Jan 4, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) reacts after a play during the third quarter against the Dallas Mavericks at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

According to Charania, the Nets are moving guard Caris LeVert, Jarrett Allen and four first-round picks. The Rockets will also be able to exchange in four first-round pick swaps.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the massive blockbuster is a four-team trade that includes the Cleveland Cavaliers and Indiana Pacers. Here are the full details as we know it.

  • Nets get: James Harden
  • Rockets get: Victor Oladipo, Rodions Kurucs, Dante Exum, four first-round picks and four pick swaps
  • Pacers gets: Caris LeVert
  • Cavaliers get: Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince

As it relates to the four first-round picks Houston receives in this trade, the details are as follows. First-round picks from Brooklyn in 2022, 2024 and 2026. The Rockets also receive Cleveland’s first-round pick (via Milwaukee) in 2022.

The first-round pick swaps would take place in 2021, 2023, 2025 and 2027. Technically, Houston has control of the Nets’ first-round picks over the next seven drafts. That’s absolutely massive.

Talk about one of the biggest pieces of NBA news we’ve seen come down the pike in a long time. Both Oladipo and Allen being moved would be seen as massive blockbuster trades in their own rights. Heck, the Pacers swapping an All-Star in Oladipo for LeVert is a major storyline by itself.

NBA news: Victor Oladipo involved in James Harden trade
Aug 22, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA; Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo (4) dribbles as Miami Heat guard Duncan Robinson (55) defends during the second half of Game 3 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series at AdventHealth Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

However, the obvious focus here has to be on the Rockets trading James Harden to Brooklyn. If Kyrie Irving were to ever return after missing the past three games due to “personal reasons,” the Nets would have a super team by the true definition of the term.

Irving, Harden and MVP candidate Kevin Durant as the big three would certainly challenge the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers for the NBA title.

Meanwhile, Houston opts to move off Harden after some major issues between the former NBA MVP and the organization. As you already know, Harden requested a trade ahead of the season starting late last year. Since then, he’s been a drama-filled character for the Rockets. That includes multiple violations of the NBA COVID-19 protocols.

We’ll obviously have more on this blockbuster trades with updates regarding additional moving pieces between the four teams. For now, the biggest NBA news of the past several years has gone down.