Y!’s Adrian Wojnarowski’s fascinating account of how the deal took shape:

Before sitting down a final time with Pelinka, Presti became more serious in his discussions with Morey. Houston wanted Harden badly, believed he would evolve into a transcendent franchise star for a championship-caliber team and planned to award him a five-year maximum contract worth nearly $80 million. So, Presti laid out what he wanted for Harden and the original price was steep: Kevin Martin, Chandler Parsons, Jeremy Lamb and three first-round picks, including Houston’s own in 2013.

The Houston Rockets’ Jason Friedman:

In the pick-and-roll, Harden is downright devastating. Last year he ranked in the league’s 97th percentile in such situations according to Synergy Sports, generating 1.06 points per possession. By the way, that’s better than LeBron James, Chris Paul and Steve Nash. Let that sink in for a moment. And when you recover, please realize that Harden isn’t just someone who excels at creating offense for himself; he’s also a deft passer plenty capable of generating scoring opportunities for his teammates as well.

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UPDATED below at 2:25 AM 10/28/12

The Rockets have acquired reigning Sixth Man of the Year award winning guard James Harden, according to Yahoo! NBA reporter Adrian Wojnarowski:

The Rockets sent Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb, and future draft considerations to the Thunder for Harden, sources told Y! Sports. Along with Harden, the Thunder will send Cole Aldrich, Lazar Hayward, and Daequan Cook. 

As part of the deal, the Thunder will receive “significant” future draft picks from Houston, a source told Y! Sports. 

The Oklahoman’s Darnell Mayberry adds that at least three of the picks the Thunder will be getting are a protected first-round pick from Toronto, a protected 1st-round pick from Dallas, and a 2013 Charlotte second rounder.

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I sit down in this most recent episode with Mike Pina to preview the upcoming NBA season.

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Ball Don’t Lie’s Houston Rockets season preview is pretty much a must-read.  A snippet:

Omer Asik, as much as those legs can handle, will be given starter quality minutes in Kevin McHale’s system. The former Bulls center’s fouling rate dropped significantly in his second season in 2011-12, and his defensive presence improved, somehow. This is a player that, by himself, could halve Houston’s 17th ranking in defensive efficiency — and yes, we’re aware that the Rockets field a backcourt of Lin and Kevin Martin amongst a group of rookies and youngsters. If Asik can play around 2600 minutes in total this season and come through with an approximation of his Chicago effectiveness in spite of the fatigue that comes from the minutes increase, you could have a real haughty column in his defense on your hands come May, when Dwight Howard walks away with another Defensive Player of the Year award.

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via Daryl Morey’s twitter (@DMorey):

More preseason info: @ScottMachado is leading all players in NBA preseason in assists per teammate FGM & assists per touch

We’ve known for some time that the Rockets track their own proprietary metrics in various nonconventional categories.  (For instance, if memory serves, they ranked Tracy McGrady at tops in the league in hockey assists, a stat which perfectly correlated with the ‘eye test.’)

The above was of particular interest due to my own observations on Machado.  On October 14th, in recapping the match against the Spurs, I wrote:

I thought Scott Machado looked tremendous running the second unit.  At one point I counted consecutive direct basket assists from him in the second half.  I think you’ll probably see him as the backup at shooting guard.  Keep in mind, though, I haven’t seen Livingston at point yet.

I’ve only watched two games this preseason.  (I’m not switching providers nor will I be pestering my existent provider.)  Machado played in one; Douglas the other.  From what I saw, Machado was far more impressive.  My understanding, however, is that Douglas will man the backup spot.

Machado has this uncanny knack for finding, not just the open man, but the open man in scoring position.  It’s a rare talent.

If it were up to me, I would be playing Machado, along with White, along with anyone else under 23 who has a chance to help this team when it once again matters.  But it’s not up to me.


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