Rockets acquire James Harden in blockbuster deal

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.

Being that I just heard about this deal roughly 30 minutes ago, my ability to analyze and absorb what just happened is borderline non-existent. There are so many questions, so much excitement, and too much shock. The Rockets got the best player in the deal (by a mile), but the plethora of draft picks they just lost for a player who the Thunder apparently weren’t willing to offer a max contract is, well, tragic.

Will this go down as the defining transaction of Daryl Morey’s tenure? To date there’s no question it is. Can James Harden be “the man” on a championship contender? How big of a step back did the Thunder just take? Can Kevin Martin compete on a good team? Man, so many questions. I can’t wait to find the answers.

 Twitter: @ShakyAnkles

UPDATED at 10:20PM - 

Like Michael above, not having had enough time to absorb this, I’m not exactly sure how I feel.  Wages of Wins made a case last season for Harden as the league’s best shooting guard, a premise which lost much steam after a disappointing Finals performance by the Bearded One.  Still, you can see some of the rationale that might have weighed into Morey’s decision.

The Rockets give up essentially Lamb and a guaranteed lottery pick from Toronto for an emerging 23-year-old All-Star talent in Harden.  From the Rockets’ perspective, Kevin Martin really was a throw-in for matching purposes.  (Though a major coup for the Thunder; more on that.)  They’ll quickly resign Harden (we hope) to the max and boast three young, proven building blocks in Harden, Lin, and Asik with rookies Royce White, Terrence Jones, Donatas Motiejunas, and second year man Chandler Parsons left to boot.  They have another piece in their quest to build a team after the demise of Yao Ming.

On the other hand, this shifts the team more towards that familiar road in the middle.  With Harden, the Rockets certainly won’t finish near the bottom of the league but will still struggle to make the postseason.  That will take them out of the running for one of next summer’s top picks.  Trading the Raptors’ pick already knocked out the other percentage of that occurrence.  They have youth, but still, no premiere-premiere talent.  James Harden cannot be the best player on a championship team.

The Rockets will need to hope that they can lure another star through this deal or strike a similar transaction.  They’ll hope that the rookies remaining will bud into more than what they currently are.  For now, the Rockets got a bit more interesting–a turn of events which should surely help them in their ongoing negotiations with the major television providers–even if we don’t know how it will play out in the long run. — Rahat Huq

UPDATED at 2:25AM -

Here is Hollinger’s reaction to the trade.  A snippet:

Did I mention there was another team in this trade? The Rockets are looking good. Reeeeal good. They gave up some choice assets they’d accumulated to make a deal just like this one, and in return they finally have a go-to star on the wings. Harden will have a max extension faster than you can say “beard,” and Rockets GM Daryl Morey can finally move forward with the post-Yao strategy he’s been working so hard to initiate.

Royce Young from Dailythunder.com:

It feels like a dark day for the organization and professional basketball in Oklahoma City. Again, it’s a nice trade speaking strictly about pieces. And if the Thunder had topped Miami in the Finals last season, I’m not sure I’d care all that much. But I wanted to see THIS team go for it. I wanted to see if this group could get it done. Now, we’ll never know. And there was no reason it couldn’t have happened.

While I think the Beal offer on draft night was better, I think the Thunder did great with this haul.  (They certainly did far, far better than that embarrassment of a package Orlando claimed in return for Dwight Howard.)  Martin will fill it up with ease and Lamb–who I’m extremely high on–will one day be a real player; there’s also the lottery pick from Toronto.

Even after having four hours to digest this news, I’m still not completely sure how I feel.  Though, I think I’m coming around.

Your best bet–and what I was hoping for–was that the Rockets would be awful with Toronto faltering as well.  That would have given the team two high lottery picks this summer, in addition to all four of the rookies.  You then would bring them up together.

But Toronto is looking nice and could push for the playoffs this season.  Selling early on that commodity surely factored into the calculus after management got burned on two Knicks picks from the McGrady deal originally thought to be sure-fire lottery.  If it’s Lamb, Martin, and 14 for Harden, that’s a no-brainer homerun.  And most would agree, I think, that Lamb/Martin/14 was a higher probability than Lamb/Martin/4.

Harden’s a star, if not a superstar, and one of the best decision-makers in the league with the basketball in his hands.  With Jeremy Lin, the Rockets might have the best pick and roll backcourt in the entire league.  Those two players now suddenly also make up the most interesting backcourt in the NBA with both men having much to prove: Lin that he really is a star and Harden that he is worth the max.

As is now being widely reported, the Rockets will also have the cap space next year, even after giving Harden the maximum, to add another player at the maximum level.  Notables next summer include Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, Josh Smith, and Andrew Bynum.  Neither Howard nor Paul are coming.  Smith just does not make sense.

I think the greater likelihood is that Morey will try to trade, once again, for his second star to pair with Harden.  Some names to watch would be the Blazers’ LaMarcus Aldridge and Minnesota’s Kevin Love (most recently of The Love Stomp on Luis Scola’s Face fame.)  Assets remaining to deal are Jones, Motiejunas, Marcus Morris, and Royce White.  The team hopes that atleast two from this quartet shows promise this season so it can facilitate its follow-up deal.  A follow-up for a second star in such a hypothetical would see the Rockets completely rebuilt without having tanked, featuring the new acquisition flanked by Parsons, Asik, Lin, and Harden at the other four spots.

For now, until that later deal is made, the focus is on Harden and the present.  The Rockets still won’t make the playoffs but without a doubt, they’ll be interesting.  As mentioned, the pieces are finally coming together and the nucleus is starting to take shape.

All that’s really left is finality at the four.  If another deal isn’t made, can the jump they hope for come from within?  Jones himself this preseason has looked like a poor man’s Josh Smith.  Motiejunas’ upside is of Andrea Bargnani.  And we haven’t even seen yet what can become of Royce White.

The next step now will be for the Rockets to see what they have at the ’4′.  Whether you liked this trade or not, things are finally starting to come together.

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Total comments: 70
  • ale11 says 1 YEAR ago Totally agree, really exciting :D
  • rockets best fan says 1 YEAR ago

    ale11, on 29 October 2012 - 18:07 PM said:


    I know, I really hope some of the guys (if not all) are building blocks as well, I was referring just to our current starting lineup, the ones who are supposed to be more ready to face established teams and NBA players. Like I said, Lin could be a good part of the supporting cast, as well as Patterson, probably both of them could be awesome as a second unit in a contender, but I don't feel that they could start in a contending team, not now, not ever, no way (I really hope I'm wrong). But it's a pretty good first step towards being relevant again (which is not the same as interesting, right now we might be the third most interesting team in the NBA, behind maybe Denver and Minnesota).
    I agree pat is not a starter for a championship contender, but I don't think he will be holding the starting spot long unless he explodes. t-jones appears to all ready be hot on his heals. as for lin I hope i'm wrong, but I don't think he is as good as either dragic or lowry. with that said I do believe he is a very capable backup player, but makes to much to be a backup. hey we got to have somewhere for our other star player to play when we get him right? so i'm ok with him for now, but I forsee a future upgrade being needed in that spot. in all our other positions we already have what we need. its just going to take some time for this team to grow up. I think we will start to get pretty good in the 2nd half of the season. I see a few already questioning are we messing up our draft position with this team.............yes, but even if we come in with the 14th pick again it still won't be the same. we will have gotten a years worth of experience for this young team and we will know who is seperating themselfs from the pack. which will allow us to know what pieces are keepers and what pieces should be used to aquire other pieces. like I said exciting!!!!!!
  • blakecouey says 1 YEAR ago

    RocketMan, on 29 October 2012 - 19:17 PM said:


    I like it. One thought... what if Houston doesn't end up offering him a max contract after all? Is there a chance he will be asked to do something similar to what OKC asked him to do? That would be funny if he ended up taking a lower offer, satisfied that he will get to be the highest-paid guy on the team and still leave room for another stud.

    Not a chance. He's currently being offered 4years/60mil in an extension. There is zero possibility that we made this trade without an agreement that he was going to sign, that's just bad business. He has no reason to take a lower salary with us, as we have plenty of space to sign him to that deal and add another star with an appropriate salary.
  • sircharles says 1 YEAR ago harden jerseys are now on sale!
  • RocketMan says 1 YEAR ago I like it. One thought... what if Houston doesn't end up offering him a max contract after all? Is there a chance he will be asked to do something similar to what OKC asked him to do? That would be funny if he ended up taking a lower offer, satisfied that he will get to be the highest-paid guy on the team and still leave room for another stud.
  • ale11 says 1 YEAR ago I know, I really hope some of the guys (if not all) are building blocks as well, I was referring just to our current starting lineup, the ones who are supposed to be more ready to face established teams and NBA players. Like I said, Lin could be a good part of the supporting cast, as well as Patterson, probably both of them could be awesome as a second unit in a contender, but I don't feel that they could start in a contending team, not now, not ever, no way (I really hope I'm wrong). But it's a pretty good first step towards being relevant again (which is not the same as interesting, right now we might be the third most interesting team in the NBA, behind maybe Denver and Minnesota).
  • rockets best fan says 1 YEAR ago ale 11:
    totally agree about asik, harden and parsons being building blocks for the future, but I also see a couple of others guys who could very well become building peices like t jones and d-mo. I haven't been this excited about the rockets talent level in awhile. there seems to be talent busting out everywhere. I know all the players won't become stars, but watching to see who will emerge from the pack is exciting.
  • Steven says 1 YEAR ago Everyone is acting like Jeremy Lamb is gonna be the next Jordan. There is a reason he was drafted 12th and James Harden was drafted 3rd. Even in this years draft who would you rather have Lamb or Bradley Beal? There is no question without a doubt I'm taking Beal.

    While playing with Kevin Durant last season per 40 minutes James Harden average roughly 17 points (over 1000 minutes). When Harden was without Durant (500 minutes +) he average almost 38 points/ 40 minutes. Split the difference and your talking about a 25/5/5 guy. Seriously does anyone think that Jeremy Lamb is going to be a 25/5/5 guy? Its not like Harden is 27 and you know that he has reached his max potiental. He is only 23 at least 2 years from reaching all of his potiental. And the stats of Harden when running the pick and roll is off the charts. James Harden is the better pro today, and will be the better pro tomorrow.
  • ale11 says 1 YEAR ago First of all, I'm very happy about the trade.

    Like many have said, we got the best player in the trade. Harden is already better than Martin, hopefully hasn't reached his ceilling yet and Lamb could have only reached Harden's level, best case scenario, so that's an improvement all over.

    I think Aldrich might come in handy, my belief is that he hasn't been given much opportunities once he stablished in the league and might be lacking confidence, so giving him the chance to prove himself might pay off, I totally see him as Asik's backup and he might learn a thing or two from him.
    Cook could be useful too, but I see him as an open SF when Harden and Lamb make opposite defense go crazy going to the rim, in that case he could put 2 or 3 threes per game, but he might not get enough playing time, so that's a long shot.
    Hayward is going to be cut, or should be IMO.

    Giving up those picks was the right thing to do. Toronto gave up that pick because they knew that Lowry was an immediate upside and Valanciunas has great future, so they weren't likely to enter in the first 10 at the draft, and we all knew that the primary goal of getting that pick was to turn it in star level, like Harden, so that pick achieved its purpose. Dallas pick wasn't gonna be good enough to fight for it, so that and Charlotte's second rounder made the trade easier for us. We already have too many players with little NBA experience to continue adding bodies.

    I've said in other thread that when the time comes, OKC would choose Ibaka over Harden and that he might be available. Well, the time came and it was a great deal for us. I'm not sure that adding him would instantly make us run again for that 8th spot, but would definitely prevent us from tanking...the stats that Harden brings with him won't make us win much more that what Martin could do for us, but will do enough to get us closer to fight for that spot.

    Honestly, right now the best thing that could happen is that we get to the playoffs (even though I don't think we are getting there this year, hope I'm wrong). Having Harden and proving that the rest can perform, can land us that other star (or superstar) we are lacking in order to be a top 5 team in the West. And as many have said, all points out that we are needing a PF (Aldridge, Smith, anyone else who can trade for) but unless it's via free agency, I don't think we can get one without giving up Parsons and Lin or Asik, plus some bench players that could well be our rookies. That's why I don't see Morey dealing for that PF before the deadline. If Patterson shows that he is over competent and could be our 4, I'm leaning towards trading Lin in order to get a star at PG.

    Right now, Harden, Parsons and Asik are building pieces to me, all three of them untouchables. Lin could be, but I'm not buying that yet.
  • tombrokeoff says 1 YEAR ago guys due to being on uverse, ive watched none of the preseason games, but i was wondering, has delfino been filling in more at the 2 or 3 spot? if its been the 2, do you think he was originally brought it because morey was already discussing trade scenarios with OKC and knew if something worked out that kmart and lamb would both be gone? i just know the delfino signing was kind of a head scratcher at the time, but maybe morey already knew those other 2s would be gone.
  • blakecouey says 1 YEAR ago

    feelingsupersonic, on 29 October 2012 - 03:08 AM said:


    Lamb gets shelved/time to develop. Probably 3 years before we see anything from him.

    I agree he gets bench time this season, but I can see him being on court quite a bit next year. If Lamb can be the player he was drafted to be, he will be given significant time next season.
  • feelingsupersonic says 1 YEAR ago

    Ostrow, on 29 October 2012 - 02:21 AM said:

    Interestingly, do you think Thabo gets shopped somewhere as a stopper or do they not play Lamb?


    Lamb gets shelved/time to develop. Probably 3 years before we see anything from him.
  • feelingsupersonic says 1 YEAR ago

    blakecouey, on 29 October 2012 - 00:05 AM said:


    I don't think it'll last 2-4 years, I can see it this year(only because it's a completely new team with zero experience together), but I am a believer that Morey can find a counterpart star to add as well before next season starts. If we aren't a relevant championship contender by the time Harden's extension is up I would consider it an utter failure.


    Right, I completely agree. Maybe a year with this group abit below .500. Then acquire another top free agent next summer. Maybe get that group to gel towards the end of next year and make some noise towards the end of the season and the playoffs. In year 3 perhaps we see the final form of a team Morey envisions that has had a little time to build good chemistry. Year 4 would be the year with expectations that must be met (i.e. conference finals?)
  • Ostrow says 1 YEAR ago

    blakecouey, on 28 October 2012 - 16:11 PM said:


    Original price for James Harden was "Martin, Parsons, Lamb and three first-round picks, including Houston's own in 2013." Via - Wojnarowski

    http://sports.yahoo....Y3Rpb25z;_ylv=3

    If that was the original deal Morey is a genius. I probably would have done the original deal too (although it would be tough because I love Parsons), but the one he got is much better. Another thing this does is make the Thunder better. Harden is obviously better than either two who we gave up, but one thing that the Thunder lacked last year were playmakers not named Westbrook, Harden, or Durant. This gives them 4 people who can get their own shot. Interestingly, do you think Thabo gets shopped somewhere as a stopper or do they not play Lamb?
  • Ostrow says 1 YEAR ago

    Juan Grande, on 28 October 2012 - 17:07 PM said:


    Thought this was pretty good --

    I am also a Giants fan. I think my teams have cornered the market on beards.
  • amacbrooks12 says 1 YEAR ago I am also a believer in Daryl Morey . Although Morey may have his ups & downs as a GM , and although people question his philosophy and decision making .. there is one thing he is EXTREMELY good at . Daryl Morey excels greatly when it comes to surrounding a star with other stars/ very good players . When Yao was on the team , he put a hell of a supporting cast around him with Tracy Mcgrady , Aaron Brooks , Luis Scola , Carl Landry , and Ron Artest ( that year when we wouldve beat the Lakers if Yao didnt get injured ) . So I am confident that Morey will find a batman or a bunch of VERY good players to surround our core of Lin-Harden-Parsons-Asik . I think we should be back in the playoffs by next year , and I say we are contenders in 3-4 years .

    Btw , Morey should go after a PF in search of a batman because I think Parsons is too good to give up since his ceiling and potential is so high . I also believe Asik is too good to give up as well because he rebounds and controls the paint as good as any elite center in the game today . Its just his offensive skills that need work but his scoring wont really be needed if we get another star next to Harden . Our SG spot is obviously covered with Harden so that leaves the PG and PF spot . Jeremy Lin is someone who I am comfortable with running the team as he can not only score if you need him to , but if we get that batman his assist will only go higher due to his play style of being a pass first PG . He is the type of player that makes everybody around him instantly better . Our bench is set with our rookies and other young players providing valuable minutes ( Jones , Motie , and White sounds like a pretty good backup-lineup to me ) . So if you really look at our roster and think about it , a PF superstar is the only piece we are missing in order to be serious contenders in the West .
  • Rahat Huq says 1 YEAR ago

    ObstructTheLore, on 29 October 2012 - 01:05 AM said:


    I like the trade but now I'm mad we let Dragic go. I didn't mind it before when the rockets were supposedly rebuilding but now it would be really nice to have him as I think he is much better than Lin.

    I swear I was thinking this earlier. Now that I know that we're avoiding the rebuilding-rebuilding route, part of me wishes we had just kept Dragic altogether...
  • blakecouey says 1 YEAR ago Lin is supremely tradeable still. Not only is his contract friendly for next year as well but his marketability is endless.
  • Cooper says 1 YEAR ago The Lin contract seems like its gonna burn us there's better PGs available now through trade or this summer free agency.
  • ObstructTheLore says 1 YEAR ago I like the trade but now I'm mad we let Dragic go. I didn't mind it before when the rockets were supposedly rebuilding but now it would be really nice to have him as I think he is much better than Lin.
  • Cooper says 1 YEAR ago

    blakecouey, on 29 October 2012 - 00:05 AM said:



    I don't think it'll last 2-4 years, I can see it this year(only because it's a completely new team with zero experience together), but I am a believer that Morey can find a counterpart star to add as well before next season starts. If we aren't a relevant championship contender by the time Harden's extension is up I would consider it an utter failure.

    With harden it should be easier to get another star via few agency or trade. I think we will be around the 8 seed this year and next year but within 3 yrs then we should have another star and be a top team in the west if not that should be on morey probably costing him his job. 2014 free agent class seems strong and never know who is gonna be available through trade Harden is a good start but we need a follow up move to get to the next level.
  • blakecouey says 1 YEAR ago

    feelingsupersonic, on 28 October 2012 - 21:05 PM said:


    I don't really believe it will be a team stuck in NBA purgatory this time around. The Rockets might spend a couple seasons around .500 but the truth is that once the young players in their early twenties get 2 to 4 seasons under their belt we are looking at a top 4 team in the West (assuming another max type player is added). That is what Morey is building and we must not forget that coaching and player improvement are what can catapult this team to be elite. This looks much different than what the Rockets just had the last few seasons.

    I don't think it'll last 2-4 years, I can see it this year(only because it's a completely new team with zero experience together), but I am a believer that Morey can find a counterpart star to add as well before next season starts. If we aren't a relevant championship contender by the time Harden's extension is up I would consider it an utter failure.
  • feelingsupersonic says 1 YEAR ago

    Rahat Huq, on 28 October 2012 - 20:57 PM said:


    I think there's a 90% chance they'll be in that range.


    I don't really believe it will be a team stuck in NBA purgatory this time around. The Rockets might spend a couple seasons around .500 but the truth is that once the young players in their early twenties get 2 to 4 seasons under their belt we are looking at a top 4 team in the West (assuming another max type player is added). That is what Morey is building and we must not forget that coaching and player improvement are what can catapult this team to be elite. This looks much different than what the Rockets just had the last few seasons.
  • Rahat Huq says 1 YEAR ago

    tombrokeoff, on 28 October 2012 - 20:38 PM said:


    i just pray pray pray pray that this doesnt lead us to the 14th pick again this season.

    I think there's a 90% chance they'll be in that range.
  • feelingsupersonic says 1 YEAR ago I am all for the trade. Acquiring Harden is a no brainer.

    The truth is building chemistry is going to take all year and when Morey goes after luring another max contract player that is going to further delay having a stable nucleus.

    It will be a testament to coaching and instilling a culture if these Rockets exhibit any sort of consistency and get into the playoffs.
  • tombrokeoff says 1 YEAR ago i just pray pray pray pray that this doesnt lead us to the 14th pick again this season.
  • bob schmidt says 1 YEAR ago Who is to say that we may not already have a hidden Batman or Robin already on the roster? When Greg Smith played with Asik in Orlando, they dominated the paint beyond belief. Terrence Jones has already made many wonder if he might not be the better starter at PF over Patterson. Plus, Royce has yet to demonstrate his abilities in addition to the upside of Motie... Maybe we already have the talent to be a top-level team without having to continuing to search elsewhere. This team has playoff potential with an unknown upside IMO. I'm ready to see the team play. Hope that the Rockets figure out a way to get the games on the air for the fans...
  • LMAOwais says 1 YEAR ago

    rockets best fan, on 28 October 2012 - 18:00 PM said:


    7.rockets (IMO) have cut the rebuild time down by half. we now have robin. all we need is batman.


    I think this is probably the point of greatest contention. Is the organization dealing for Harden expecting him to be Robin or Batman?
  • rockets best fan says 1 YEAR ago now that's what I'm talking 'bout.....yeeeeeeees. here are a few reasons I love this trade.
    1.rockets send kevin martin packing. I would have love to been able to keep lamb, but you gotta give something to get something
    2.I see some people upset because of the draft picks....I'm not here's why.....dallas pick was garbage anyway, but many were expecting the raptors pick to be what? we would have been lucky if the pick came in at 12-13. lowry is going to make them a better team. so that pick wasn't all that valuable in what is expected to be a weak draft next year. the 2nd round pick from charlotte was just grease to make the trade wheels turn easier
    3.many are upset because we let lamb go, but consider this......harden is already the player that we hoped lamb would become. its a far shorter leap for harden to become a superstar than for lamb and harden has already proven he can do it against nba level talent.
    4.harden (IMO) is a player who is just entering his prime, isn't injury prone and still has not reached his ceiling. locking him up in a long term deal is a plus for the team even if we overpay him a little. remember this....if OKC had the room under the salary cap we wouldn't even be having this conversation
    5.rockets keep their flexibility with the deal. they still have room to fit another max player under the cap. having harden may help draw another star here.
    6.many draft picks come to the nba every year, but only a hand full or so will make an impact on the league. we are getting a known product verses and unknown one. even if harden only plays at the level he is now we would have been lucky if lamb or any other draft pick reached even this level
    7.rockets (IMO) have cut the rebuild time down by half. we now have robin. all we need is batman.
  • Juan Grande says 1 YEAR ago Thought this was pretty good --

    Quote:

    @Joelsherman1
    Can't wait until after game when I can ask Brian Wilson's beard what he thinks of James Harden's beard getting traded #sfgiants #thunder
  • 6ft. says 1 YEAR ago YES! this takes sooooooooo much stress off of J-Lin. great step and im ready to win some games THIS YEAR. oooooohh baby ooooooh baby. touchdown sunday for... da rockets.

    Who got league pass?
  • blakecouey says 1 YEAR ago Original price for James Harden was "Martin, Parsons, Lamb and three first-round picks, including Houston's own in 2013." Via - Wojnarowski

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/nba--inside-look-at-james-harden-s-trade-to-rockets-28301609.html;_ylt=AkME3lWmmT.RfQyTtvzPYF85nYcB;_ylu=X3oDMTQ0aTNpZ2o3BG1pdANGRUFUVVJFRCBNZWdhdHJvbiBTUE9SVFMgRlAEcGtnAzU0OTZmYmMyLWVjN2MtM2ExNC1hZTllLTQ1NDdkZWE3ZGUwMARwb3MDMgRzZWMDbWVnYXRyb24EdmVyA2UwYjhiOWYzLTIxMDItMTFlMi1iNWVkLWZlMjhiYWUyNjVhOQ--;_ylg=X3oDMTFpNzk0NjhtBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25z;_ylv=3
  • Stephen says 1 YEAR ago Dan G,
    You are correct,I wouldn't pay Harden the max,but I'm not running the Rockets,which is a good thing :)
    That said,Harden is a significant upgrade at the SG position. Significant enough to get the Rockets into the Play-Offs in my view.
    So,thumbs up from me.

    Extended reasoning as follows:
    1) There just wasn't a Martin trade for a high Draft pick out there. Half the contenders don't have 2013 Firsts,none are under Cap,so we're looking at taking back bad contracts for a mediocre First at best. This maximizes Martin's trading value.
    2)Not sold on Lamb's upside. He doesn't look to have a go-to guy's mentality,disappeared on offense way too often even against scrubs.
    Harden is a top-5 SG,arguably top-3. Lamb is barely in the top3 SGs of the past two Drafts.(Klay Thompson,Beal better,Lamb in mix w/Burks,Ross and Rivers-depending on if he's a SG or PG.)
    3)The picks.
    The Dallas pick is 21 or higher until the 2018 Draft. It was sweetener to close the deal.
    Toronto is not going to be too bad. Last yr they ended up w/the #8 pick and they've upgraded PG w/Lowry,their Euro rook-Valanciunis-is d*** good and their coach has Bargnani playing D-and Lowry has helped his offense. Toronto's going to be much,much better. That pick is going to be in the 12-14 range,at best.

    4) The tanking option. Leaving all else aside,how low could the Rockets get?
    Did anyone watch the Orlando,NO and think,boy the Rockets were lucky to beat them because they had the better team?
    Orlando,Charlotte,Washington,Cleveland,NO and Portland are all going to be very,very bad this yr-and they're going to be tanking as well. The Draft isn't 6 Franchise players deep. The only hope the Rockets would have had is moving up in the Draft thru the Lottery-that's not a plan,that's hoping for a miracle.

    Re the Rockets out of picks-they're out of them THIS season. Until their own First is used by Atlanta,they can't trade one of their own during a Season.
    And once Atlanta uses the pick the Rockets can't trade the next yrs First during the Season(Ted Stepien rule).
  • Steven says 1 YEAR ago Rockets lineup this year

    Position - Name - (points/rebounds/assists)
    PG - Lin 15/4/8
    SG - Hardin 20/4/4
    SF - Parsons 12/5/2
    PF - Patterson 10/5/1
    C - Asik 10/15/1

    I see Jones, Delfino, Douglas and Smith being the main subs.
  • blakecouey says 1 YEAR ago

    Jeby, on 28 October 2012 - 13:28 PM said:


    Sidebar: do we have the world's most marketable backcourt in the world right now with the Beard and Linsanity? Yes. Yes we do.

    We definitely do.

    After sleeping on this trade, I still like it-a lot. I had said in the past that Harden wasn't worth a max contract in FA(and that I'd rather have gotten Ibaka), but at this point my opinion is different. When you have a team that is sure to miss the playoffs, then add a single player that immediately puts them in contention for a playoff spot(although not a championship contender) you have done well. Martin was our BEST player, earning 12mil(?) this year, and you can bring in someone 6 years younger, much more reliable, with a higher ceiling(and already higher level) you do it. Harden costing max(reportedly 4 years 60mil is the offer) is a minor speed bump. The Rockets have more than enough cap space to make this deal and continue to pursue another max guy.

    I don't necessarily agree that he can't be Batman. Harden was able to come off the bench and do what the starters(a group consisting of Durant and Westbrook) couldn't get done. Not only that, but Harden was mature enough to realize what his role was on the team(unlike WB), which is an incredibly important trait for a player to have. He can absolutely be the best player on a Championship team, although he can't be the only player on the team. He needs significant help from someone else though, whether it's a current Rocket(doubtful), a traded player, FA, or unknown.
  • Jeby says 1 YEAR ago I don't think you could ask for a better trade. Both sides are moaning about the cost, which means it was probably a fair deal.
    Morey finally traded all of his nickels and dimes for a dollar. An awesome, bearded, 23-year-old, gold-medal-wearing, playoff-tested dollar. When you have a chance to trade for a 23-year-old Olympian, you do it. Period. That beats the odds of drafting a wing who is going to post a PER of 21 or better by that age.

    Sidebar: do we have the world's most marketable backcourt in the world right now with the Beard and Linsanity? Yes. Yes we do.

    Sidbar #2: Yesterday I went on a rant about how Kevin Martin was unappreciated. Sam Presti read it and traded James Harden for him. I will accept no other explanations.
  • tipwong says 1 YEAR ago Will Lin and Harden have conflict on controlling the ball?
  • Sir Thursday says 1 YEAR ago My initial reaction was one of vague misgivings. Martin has been playing great in the preseason, Harden has not been at his best recently. But the more I think about it, the more I come to the conclusion that actually this is a great long term move for Houston.

    As other commenters have pointed out, Harden is only 23. That's only 3 years older than Lamb, who we've given up in a trade of SGs of the future. But Harden is much better than Lamb is at the moment, and IMO Lamb's ceiling was that of Harden, so in that respect the trade is a good thing. We lose KMart this year, but he was never going to resign here anyway so that's no great loss. We lose some picks, which are more of a loss but acceptable to trade away to get a 'star' like Harden. I use quotation marks because he is thought of that way by NBA players and fans at large, but I'm not sure he has the experience playing regularly with the starters to have earned that moniker just yet. But he is undeniably very good, and still has scope for improvement so I don't mind that too much.

    As far as ruining our chances of tanking this year, I'm starting to think maybe that's a good thing. We now promising if not world-beating young core of Lin-Harden-Parsons-Asik. Rather than looking for a draft pick, we should be looking for someone who will be able to contribute at a high level in the next year or two years. Any rookie we bring in in next year's draft will be a little late. Furthermore, we can't trade our own picks because we're locked into the deal we made for Terrence Williams. So rather than trying to stay out of the playoffs to get a good pick this year, I think we should be aiming to make the playoffs so that we can fulfill our obligation to New Jersey (although IIRC the pick will now go to Atlanta). Then we will be allowed to trade our first round pick for the 2014 draft if we so choose. That's a useful additional trading chip which we're going to need to get a second star here. Teams aren't going to give up stars without getting packages headlined by draft picks (unless you're Orlando, of course), and this way we at least have some of that commodity. Eventually we're going to have to move some of our PFs, and when that happens hopefully we'll be able to get some decent pick return for them (are late first-rounders too much to hope for?).

    ST
  • tipwong says 1 YEAR ago I am interested in the rockets acquired players other than Harden. Does the three players(Cole Aldrich, Hayward, Cook) have good impact for the team?
  • rocketrick says 1 YEAR ago Damn, I need to attend more Halloween parties I guess! I didn't believe the early reports at the party I attended due to lack of trusting the sources. I am very surprised but quite pleased with this trade.

    Rockets starting 5 are Jeremy Lin, James Harden, Chandler Parsons, Patrick Patterson (for now, possibly to be supplanted by Terrence Jones at some point this season unless P Patterson becomes the solid 4 we're expecting him to be) and Asik.

    That's a very nice starting 5 and I have no doubt the Rockets are now positioned to make some noise in the playoff hunt beginning this season.

    Best of all, the Rockets (thanks to Morey) are positioned to add one additional free agent at max salary this upcoming summer.

    The future begins now for the Rockets.
  • Dan G says 1 YEAR ago

    inpropagation, on 28 October 2012 - 08:22 AM said:


    Screw it. This starting lineup is so freaking cool. My only concern is that there doesn't seem to be a lot of stud free agents to give max to anytime soon, but what do I know.

    So did the team just get younger AND better?


    Don't get me wrong I agree we did get both younger and better by getting Harden and I do like Harden, but with getting a guy like Harden, it definitely puts us out of reach of tanking. Now that we know we can't tank with this roster what are our options?

    As you alluded to there aren't a lot of stud free agents to give max contracts to that are willing to come here over the next few years. That of course is subject to change and I hope it does but other than free agency the only option is through trade. Love more than likely isn't going anywhere and Cousins is an interesting route to go, but I still think Aldridge can be had without giving up Lin/Asik. Our current cap situation is only at 54 million and that is with Martin and all of our non-guaranteed players whom haven't been dropped yet. If our rookies can show their worth we can get Aldridge at the deadline and we would probably still not make the playoffs this year, so our 2013 draft pick could be included in the deal and if we do make the playoffs we can always give them next year's draft pick to go along with other draft considerations.

    All in all I would have liked the route of tanking and letting Oklahoma City, L.A. and Miami fight it out for a few years. I agree acquiring Harden puts us in a better position than it did in previous years to be a really good team and this time around we have the cap space and young talent in our favor. We acquired Robin, now we need to either acquire Batman or at the very least get Nightwing, The Huntress and Batgirl on board. I'm am glad to have at least one hero in town after the last few seasons of only having Commissioner Gordon (Morey).
  • Ray says 1 YEAR ago Trade possibilities for a superstar don't seem promising.

    Love is under contract for 4 years at around 14 million a season. They have a young core that is growing up and should be playoff contenders if Rubio is healthy. I can't see Minny trading Love in the next 3 years unless things go horribly wrong and he asks out of there. Not sure the Rockets can wait that long with the current core.

    Aldridge is a little more interesting because Portland is rebuilding. Still, he's got 3 more years at 14 mil/season and the Blazers have been dead set on not trading him according to all reports. To even open conversations with them, you'd have to start with one of Lin/Asik (needed for salary reasons), Parsons, and probably Motie to go along with a couple of 1sts.

    If you're looking for a wild card that has a salary that wouldn't cost us Asik or Lin, I throw out Demarcus Cousins. He's still on his rookie contract (4mil) this year and is developing into a solid player with star potential. He Is a head case and the Kings have seemed unwilling to part with him, but their whole situation is tenuous at best. A package of Parsons, Motie and a couple of protected 1sts may be enough to get them to talk.
  • inpropagation says 1 YEAR ago Screw it. This starting lineup is so freaking cool. My only concern is that there doesn't seem to be a lot of stud free agents to give max to anytime soon, but what do I know.

    So did the team just get younger AND better?
  • Ray says 1 YEAR ago Millsap would be a good third option and, hopefully, wouldn't require max dollars to bring in. He knows the pick and roll, is a plus rebounder, and is decent on defense. I'm not sold on Jefferson though; he's a 5 so what do you do with Asik. He's also an average rebounder and a minus defender.

    As far as the knocks on Smith, he does have his drawbacks, but he did put up 18-10-2 blks a game last year. Keeping his head in the game will always be a problem with him, especially once he leaves his 20's, but he's still an all-star caliber player. Jones and Motie have looked solid in summer league and preseason so far, but that's just it, it's summer league and preseason.

    Harden at 23 was one of the top 25 players in the league as a sixth man. He's also one of the top 3 SG in the NBA. The Rockets of the last few years have had no one the same caliber as Harden on their roster and no one nearly as respected by scouts and other players alike. He may not make them title contenders immediately, but, as Rahat is always talking about, they now have a core to build around. That's a lot different than perennially collecting assets or trying to lure a premier free agent to a team with no core established.
  • Rahat Huq says 1 YEAR ago Dan G: I agree with you. That's also how I feel. Just trying to see the positives on this.
  • Dan G says 1 YEAR ago

    Stephen, on 28 October 2012 - 06:54 AM said:


    If Portland trades Aldridge,the deal will have to include Draft picks-and the Rockets are fresh out of them.

    I believe Jones is a superior offensive player(has a 3pt shot,vastly better handles and court vision),is a more fundamentally sound rebounder than Smith. Smith can elevate and block shots,but he is a low B-Ball IQ player who can't resist jacking outside shots he doesn't make. No way Morey makes a big offer to Smith,just no way.


    Well the Rockets still own their own pick unless they make the playoffs and then it goes to Brooklyn I do believe, so we do still have a first round draft pick available. Don't get me wrong I do not want Josh Smith as I would rather keep Jones too, but if we could package two out of three of D-Mo, White and Jones, Morris, our first round pick and some change for Aldridge, I'd do that trade. We could do that or wait for Jones and D-Mo to become the stars we think they can become.

    I'm down for either scenario but one thing I find funny is several of you have said in the past you wouldn't want Harden as a free agent and after we actually traded good assets for him, he is now suddenly a good player to have on our team. A team that is supposed to be rebuilding mind you. It's now clear Harden was not going to be available as a free agent in the off season as Oklahoma City was going to trade him regardless but I am just not happy with Morey flip flopping strategies. I had my heart set and mind made up that we were finally going in the right direction. I can see going after a megastar in Howard (which I really wasn't a fan of since he didn't want to be here) but getting Harden just brings us closer to where we have been the last several seasons, which is one superstar away from competing, winning too many games to get a good draft pick and possibly having enough assets to acquire a superstar but more than likely not.
  • redfaithful says 1 YEAR ago In the 2013 free agents discussion no one talks about two Utah bigs: Millsap and Jefferson. Shouldn't they be mentioned? I think after the Harden trade Millsap could be a very good fit with the Rockets.
  • Johnny Rocket says 1 YEAR ago I totally agree about Alridge. Craig Smith is a much better prospect as this point.

    Before making any more blockbusters, the Rockets need to wait and evaluate. If Lin, for example, turns out to be a "near All-Star" (something like 18 points, 9 assists, 2 steals per game)and Parsons takes a big step forward, the maybe a guy like Josh Smith (via free agency) makes sense. I know that some here are down on Smith, but he is a GREAT defensive player, and paired with Asik would make us absolute monsters up front. But we need to wait and see what we have before making any really big moves.

    I'm really excited--we could be contending for a playoff spot during a season in which 90 percent of our minutes will be played by guys 26 years old or younger. Amazing!
  • Nerd Numbers says 1 YEAR ago http://wagesofwins.com/2012/10/27/the-thunders-epic-failure/
    Thanks for shout out. A bit of a follow up. The simple fact is that until the finals (which consisted of 5 games) Harden was an amazing players. Even in the finals, his shot selection was good (just went and watched every last one with Synergy) his threes just weren't falling. "Harden for three! In and out!" got to be painful to hear as I watched.

    Simple fact is that Harden was a top talent. Anyone who uses a poor finals performance to undersell a star (2007 Bron anyone) is fooling themselves. The Rockets just made themselves relevant and that's huge. Another scary note, you have TONS of cap space next year and CP3 and Dwight could be on the market.
  • Stephen says 1 YEAR ago If Portland trades Aldridge,the deal will have to include Draft picks-and the Rockets are fresh out of them.

    I believe Jones is a superior offensive player(has a 3pt shot,vastly better handles and court vision),is a more fundamentally sound rebounder than Smith. Smith can elevate and block shots,but he is a low B-Ball IQ player who can't resist jacking outside shots he doesn't make. No way Morey makes a big offer to Smith,just no way.
  • Ray says 1 YEAR ago Dan G,

    Completely agree as I doubt Paul or Howard even consider the Rockets unless they put forth a magical season and make it to the WCF. I think Bynum would be more open to the Rockets, but I have a feeling he extends in Philly which is really a good fit for him at this point in his career. Smith, on the other hand, would be a good fit in Houston, but then you have to look at the parallels to the Atlanta Hawks of the last few seasons. You'd really have to bank on Lin and Asik being special, otherwise the Rockets become the perennial 4-5 team in the West. Plus, you'd be blocking Motie at that point, who I believe could be the real deal, while also banking on Smith to keep his athleticism until he's 32-33. Defensively, though, having 4 of your starters be Harden, Parsons, Smith, and Asik would be a pretty solid core.
  • Dan G says 1 YEAR ago Ray,

    I certainly hope getting Harden will make Houston a more desirable place to go but I guess I have become too cynical about convincing a prized free agent to come here like Paul or Howard. Bynum or Smith, on the other hand, I could see coming here and out of those two I prefer Bynum if he can get his injury problems under control, but I honestly don't see him leaving Philadelphia.
  • Dan G says 1 YEAR ago After reading all of your comments I still don't quite know what to think of this trade as initially I was not happy about it. I know why Oklahoma City had to do it but for the Rocket's stand point, this definitely puts a wrench in the rebuilding situation unless Morey can pull off another blockbuster in the middle of the season or next off season. If he does he really would be using the same formula that was done when Boston got the big 3.

    But concerning the trade tonight, I agree the picks we gave up don't really mean much except for the Toronto pick and as some have alluded to even that pick could be around 12-14 (in a supposed bad draft nonetheless) and we were eventually going to trade Martin anyway, but I wanted Martin traded at the deadline instead of right before the season starts so that we could have a look at all of our rookies and our record would be well on its way to a nice draft pick. Having said that I guess there was really no one else better to get for Martin except Aldridge or Smith (I prefer Aldridge) and Harden pretty much had to get traded before Wednesday's deadline. I'm just sad we will never get the opportunity to see Lamb play in official games and we have yet a few more players thrown into the mix to be cut.

    Lastly, I agree with Cooper we need to be calling Portland/Atlanta every day and if we can pry Aldridge or Smith away, I will be alot more ecstatic about tonight's trade and rebuilding our team would be yesterday's news.
  • Ray says 1 YEAR ago Great trade for what the Rockets are trying to do right now. This year is still a rebuilding year, but they've put themselves in a position to sneak into the back end of the playoffs. I don't think they make it, the West is just too strong, but they should be an exciting, young team with potential for the future.

    I don't see any more blockbusters this year for Houston unless another team loses its mind. Rockets' tradeable assets were depleted with this trade and I'm sure Morey wants to keep his cap space open for next year. My guess is that his free agency priority list looks something like this:
    1a-Chris Paul
    1b-Dwight Howard
    2a-Andrew Bynum
    2b-Josh Smith

    Paul or Howard would be like hitting the lottery as it also allows Morey to try and deal Lin/Asik for complementary parts. The hope in either case would be that D-Mo (the PF) would make significant strides to being a starting caliber player. Bynum would be a similar scenario as Howard. Smith would only be 27 next year and would definitely fit on this team by making it stronger defensively while also adding an offensive weapon at, what is now, the Rockets' weakest yet most crowded position.
  • Cooper says 1 YEAR ago I know I'm being a bit greedy now but they should call Portland/Atlanta everyday tryin to swing a deal for Aldridge or Smith.
  • Stephen says 1 YEAR ago Wow!
    Couple of thoughts.

    You don't make a trade of this magnitude in one afternoon. The two teams had to have been talking about this for a while.

    The Dallas pick is top 20 protected thru 2017. It's unprotected in 2018.
    No great loss.
    The Toronto pick is not going to be a great pick in the next couple of years either. I watched a couple of Raptor Pre-Season games and that's a nice little team. In the East they're going to be in the Play-Off hunt and likely end up w/a pick 12-14 range. I'd give that and Lamb(who is a long way from ready) for Harden.

    Cole Aldrich has been a huge disappointment in OKC.
    Let's put it this way,OKC brought in Thabeet to challenge him for the third string C spot.
    More disturbingly,Aldrich got less than 50 minutes MORE than Marcus Morris last yr(173 to 126).

    The roster got hugely crowded and a lot of players need to go.
    Aldrich and Hayward have team options for next season(OKC didn't exercise them) so they could be waived and team is only on hook for this yrs salary. Cook is in last yr of his deal.
    But if I was Smith,I'd be mighty worried(and same w/Machado).
    And I would advise Hayward not to pack his bags.
  • Cooper says 1 YEAR ago Good move, lamb has looked good but it's better to get more of a sure thing in harden. If we can add one more star/semi star in free agency we will be set up pretty nice especially if lin plays well.
  • Johnny Rocket says 1 YEAR ago I like this trade a lot. I agree that this James Hardin (Hardin at age 23) can't be the best player on a championship team. But what about James Hardin at 27 or 28? He's a guy that might compete for scoring titles, and at the very least he's a guy that can create shots for himself as well as for teamates on a consistent basis. We haven't had a guy like that since McGrady. And Hardin (plus Lin) gives us credibility to go after the big time free agents (provided we have the cap room). I think our future looks very bright!
  • bballguy says 1 YEAR ago Harden is a great player but I don't think he can be the best player on a championship team. However, I do think players will want to play with Harden so this could help us next summer. As for this year: I think the Rockets should try to play the best as they can because I don't think free agents will join the Rockets if they do terrible this year.
  • sircharles says 1 YEAR ago This helps us defensively tremendously.
  • blakecouey says 1 YEAR ago

    amacbrooks12, on 28 October 2012 - 03:52 AM said:


    This is crazy , Jeremy Lamb and Kevin Martin are gone in just a blink of an eye . We are going to regret losing Jeremy Lamb I just know it , but I wish him the best in OKC . And wow , looks like all the scoring and effort Martin put into pre-season paid off , OKC really believes in him . I give Daryl Morey a B+ for this move but he shouldve tried to trade Royce White instead . It wouldve been nice to have Harden AND Lamb .

    Harden AND Lamb would've been the perfect scenario, but the Thunder weren't going to lose Harden and have no future at SG(as KMart will be out next year I presume). Odds are they demanded Lamb for the future and White doesn't fit as well for them(they drafted Perry Jones).
  • Brookaveli says 1 YEAR ago

    sircharles, on 28 October 2012 - 03:23 AM said:


    Do people not realize he is only 23 and still has lots of room to get better? I also like that we got cole aldrich. So is our team salary like 15 mill now?


    Honestly, when I posted my gut reaction my gut was not realizing that he is as young as he is. That said, I think Joe Johnson was 24 when Atlanta traded for him. Perhaps it is worth betting that Harden makes a jump this year (and in the future) similar to what he made last year. I imagine our offensive style is going to change a little bit with Harden on the court. I liked what I saw out of Martin this preseason. He is such a fluid finisher. I associate Harden with more of an iso style, but I haven't watched him much outside of the playoffs. I do appreciate that he has made meaningful contributions on a winning team.
  • amacbrooks12 says 1 YEAR ago This is crazy , Jeremy Lamb and Kevin Martin are gone in just a blink of an eye . We are going to regret losing Jeremy Lamb I just know it , but I wish him the best in OKC . And wow , looks like all the scoring and effort Martin put into pre-season paid off , OKC really believes in him . I give Daryl Morey a B+ for this move but he shouldve tried to trade Royce White instead . It wouldve been nice to have Harden AND Lamb .
  • sircharles says 1 YEAR ago I must admit i have the weirdest boner right now
  • blakecouey says 1 YEAR ago I too like Aldrich thrown in.
  • sircharles says 1 YEAR ago Do people not realize he is only 23 and still has lots of room to get better? I also like that we got cole aldrich. So is our team salary like 15 mill now?
  • Brookaveli says 1 YEAR ago I'll root for Harden, but I have doubts. I'm concerned that he cannot be the guy that he is about to be paid to be, and I'm even more concerned that this will make us worse this year and for the future due to the lost picks. Remember, superstars at max contracts are a bargain; second tier guys are not. Is anyone here convinced that Harden is substantially better than Joe Johnson was when he left the Suns for a max deal in Atlanta?
  • Ostrow says 1 YEAR ago I like it. I think it actually helps both teams. I'm not sure Harden can be THE guy, but I think he has a better shot than Lamb or the Toronto/Mavs pick. Known commodity. This is what Morey has been trying to do for years. He's great a role and I think Harden can be a star. Maybe 2 Rockets starters in the All-Star game if China backs the Rockets like they used to.
  • JetToDream says 1 YEAR ago Is Harden worthy of a max deal? I am not so sure. I am interested to see how he reacts to being the primary scoring option. It is a shame Lamb will be moved.
  • blakecouey says 1 YEAR ago Just saw this on Twitter also. WOW. I think it's a good deal, it definitely gives us a face/beard of the franchise(alongside Lin). I would've liked to have seen what Lamb could do for us, but we know what we're getting with Harden(if he can do it as a starter) and that's a relief.

    That said, do we play for any sort of relevancy this year? Does our position change from tank to try?