James Harden has been traded from Oklahoma City to Houston in a blockbuster six-player deal that was completed Saturday night. Harden, who had been locked in contract negotiations with the Thunder before the trade and is likely to receive a maximum contract from Houston before the end of the week, is joined by Cole Aldridge, Lazar Haywood, and Daequan Cook. The Rockets sent back Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb, and three draft picks in return.
At SB Nation Houston Rockets web site The Dream Shake, it's Christmas morning:
I'm chalking this one up to a win for Daryl Morey. The Rockets have ample cap space to toy around and Harden was dealt as soon as 4 years and 53 million dollars wasn't good enough. Houston can up the ante on that. Harden comes as a do it all SG and is widely considered one of the best shooting guards in the NBA though his role has been tethered to the bench. The Rockets scored big in this deal for three reasons. First, they got their franchise player. Better yet, he's young. Second, the Rockets got their wing depth even though they shipped out Martin and Lamb. Daequan Cook is no slouch coming off the bench and we're the same age (What am I doing with my life?). Third, and maybe most importantly, we have our back up center in Cole Aldrich.
The trade does signal a wholesale overhaul of the Houston roster, with the backcourt duo of Harden and Jeremy Lin the centerpiece. Morey's post-Yao Ming revolution looks to be finally here. If the Rockets can get some production from a young frontcourt, they become immediate contenders.
Houston tips off its 2012-13 season Wednesday night at Detroit. The Rockets' home opener is November 3 against Portland.