Biggest Winners and Losers of the Blockbuster James Harden Trade

Published 01/13/2021, 9:42 PM EST
Dec 28, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) before the game against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports


It has finally happened! James Harden has been traded to the Brooklyn Nets to form a super team with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant.

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For the last few weeks, Harden’s future with Houston had been one of the hottest topics of discussion in the league. Many believed that Harden’s lack of enthusiasm in the last few games was a pretty clear message for the Rockets.

Harden, who is usually one of the most dynamic players in any game, was visibly disinterested in contributing his hundred percent for the Texas based franchise. While the team initially hesitated in granting his request, they finally relented and realized that the Rockets’ future has to be built without the ‘Beard.’

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Although Harden was the centerpiece for this trade, it involved 4 teams and numerous NBA biggies. Apart from Harden, fans saw many interesting players change teams. For starters, the Nets had to give up prospects such as Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen along with a plethora of draft picks.

However, the Rockets used this opportunity to acquire Pacers’ Victor Oladipo, pairing him with John Wall. Additionally, the Cleveland Cavaliers acquired Jarrett Allen from the Nets to bolster their already terrific frontcourt. After all the moves, this is what the rosters of all 4 teams look like:

Who won the blockbuster trade of James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets?

Jan 12, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) and head coach Stephen Silas (right) react after a play during the second quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

With this trade in the history books, it’s imperative to analyze the biggest winners and losers. At first look, it seems as if the Nets are the clear winners. However, upon a closer inspection, the competition is much closer.

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Although the Nets get a former MVP in the middle of his prime, Brooklyn had to give up a lot to acquire him. In total, they gave up 8 first round picks, Caris LeVert, Taurean Prince, and Jarrett Allen. Following this trade, the Nets definitely have one of the strongest starting lineups in the league. But their bench is looking a little weak right now.

Moreover, they have entered a win-now situation; so if this Big 3 experiment fails, the organization will be stuck in mediocrity for the foreseeable future.

On the other end of the spectrum, the Rockets got a new All-Star in Oladipo to pair up with John Wall. With a bunch of draft picks, the Rockets can finally kick-start the much discussed re-building process and develop some exciting future prospects.

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All things considered, it was a win-win situation for the both sides. What are your thoughts on the Brooklyn Nets’ new roster? Will they struggle too much on the defensive end? Or will they make up for it with their elite offense?

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Aikansh Chaudhary

771 articles

Aikansh Chaudhary is an NBA columnist for Essentially Sports. Previously, he helped rank various websites using the latest SEO techniques, and wrote over 2000 articles during his stint as a freelance writer. A die hard Lakers fan, Aikansh will forever uphold LeBron James as the GOAT.

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