Nets announce James Harden blockbuster: 'We are thrilled to bring his special talents to Brooklyn'

Garrett Stepien
·3 min read
James Harden treated image grey background Rockets jersey
James Harden treated image grey background Rockets jersey

The Nets officially announced the James Harden blockbuster on Thursday morning.

Here's the full statement from GM Sean Marks:

A four-team deal including the Cleveland Cavaliers and Indiana Pacers shipped out Brooklyn shooting guard Caris LeVert, center Jarrett Allen and forwards Taurean Prince and Rodions Kurucs in addition to three unprotected first-round draft picks and four first-round swaps.

The Nets receive Harden, the Pacers get LeVert and a second-round pick and the Cavs net Allen and Prince. Meanwhile, the Rockets return a boatload of acquisitions -- Kurucs, Pacers shooting guard Victor Oladipo, Cavs guard Dante Exum and Brooklyn's first-rounders in 2022, '24 and '26.

Houston also has the Nets' first-round swaps in 2021, '23, '25 and '27. Additionally, via the Cavs, the Rockets snag a 2022 first-round pick from the Milwaukee Bucks.

Harden as a possibility to the Nets surfaced in November. Begley reported Nov. 15, in response to the developing story that Harden was pushing for a move to Brooklyn, that Nets players' support for a Harden deal was not universal.

Underlining Harden's displeasure with the Rockets was a reported two-year, $103 million contract extension that would have paid him more than a record $50 million annually. Harden reportedly remained focused on a trade to the Nets.

Brooklyn general manager Sean Marks first addressed rumors of Harden's ties to the Nets in mid-November. Marks downplayed the reports, though, expressing an optimistic outlook for 2020-21 with a young core around the Nets' superstar duo of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

"There's never a dull moment, and I think when maybe you're the part of some rumors out there and so forth, you take heed and just look how far the Nets organization has come," Marks said. "We're obviously excited to get the team that we have, to be honest, out on the floor, and I think not only with Kevin and Ky and Caris and Jarrett Allen, you work your way through the roster.

"For those guys having the opportunity to get out there and, as you said, wear the black and white, that's the most important thing. It's a crazy business that we live in and things are thrown your way all the time, and you have to pivot and be flexible and maintain that throughout the season."

Before the season, Durant had been intrigued by the idea of a scenario where Brooklyn were to add Harden, sources told Begley. Durant, however, dismissed Dec. 9 the notion that he thought anything of Harden -- his former Oklahoma City Thunder teammate from 2009-12 -- joining the Nets.

"I don't think about James Harden at all," Durant said. "I mean, he doesn't play on our team."

Head coach Steve Nash shared similar sentiments Dec. 7. When asked about Harden as the "elephant in the room," Nash shared the following answer.

"I guess we let the elephant be," Nash said. "I love our guys and hopefully they all feel valued and wanted and respected. We have so many guys that bring so much to the table. When I'm in the gym with them everyday, I feel fortunate. So hopefully they feel that and they don't feel like we're looking out the window at greener pastures."

The Nets (6-6) play the Knicks (5-6) Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. from the Garden.

OddsMoney LinePoint SpreadTotal Points
-129-1.5O 226.5
+105+1.5U 226.5