Brooklyn has just made one of the biggest trades in league history.
In a four-team trade, the Nets went from being a title contender to “it’s a championship or bust” team less than five weeks into the season after acquiring former MVP James Harden.
The trade certainly made Brooklyn fans excited as they realize that the Larry O’Brien Trophy could be inside the Barclays Center at the end of the season.
Even Kevin Durant can’t help but smile when asked about his reunion with Harden.
However, the deal was only made possible because of the decision of the other three-teams involved to with the trade.
Let’s break down how it looks for the four teams will be affected by this trade.
Brooklyn Nets (J. Harden and second round pick via Cleveland)
Let’s start off with obviously the biggest winner of the trade, the Brooklyn Nets.
In exchange for Harden, they traded away talented young talents in Caris LeVert, Jarrett Allen, Taurean Prince, Rodions Kurucs and four first-round draft picks in 2022, 2024 and 2026 and pick swaps in 2021, 2023, 2025 and 2027.
This obviously affected Brooklyn’s future since the core trio of Kyrie Irving (28), Durant (32) and Harden (31) are already in their prime with an average age of 30.
Obviously, the Nets are no longer looking at the future and their goal is to win a title now.
And believe me, Brooklyn may be in an enviable spot but the pressure is now on. Don’t believe me? Well, maybe you’ll believe this man.
With the loss of the four young guns, with Spencer Dinwiddie out indefinitely due to an ACL and Irving still on hiatus, the Nets are running short in personnel, especially big men.
But it’s possible with Harden’s arrival, Irving’s return could be very soon.
With a starting five of Irving, Harden, Joe Harris, Durant and DeAndre Jordan and with guys like Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Bruce Brown, Jeff Green and Landry Shamet.
Brooklyn is definitely looking like a team that could win it all this season but as we’ve seen in the past (like with the 2010-11 Miami Heat), chemistry and a lack of production from the bench can prove to be the downfall of a superteam. That’s why, despite the hype, it’ll be interesting to see how coach Steve Nash will build a team that could dethrone the Lakers.
As of the moment, the Nets are sixth in the East with 7-6 record despite Irving missing games. Now, with this new look, we might see the black and white squad being at the top of the standings in the next few weeks.
Houston Rockets (V. Oladipo, D. Exum, R. Kurucs, 4 FRP and 4 FRPS)
Houston has been having problems since Harden made it known that he wanted out of H-Town.
It took a while but they finally got him out of the Rockets organization after nine years.
Houston fans were obviously and understandably furious and sad with this news as they will lose one of the greatest offensive players in league history. However, now that it’s happened, things don’t look too bad for the Rockets.
It looks like they still going to be a playoff contender.
H-Town got a new man in the shooting guard position in former All-Star Victor Oladipo along with Dante Exum, Rodions Kurucs and four-first round picks (via Brooklyn and Milwaukee) as well as four first-round swap picks (via Brooklyn).
To be honest, Oladipo is younger (28) and a better pairing with John Wall than Harden since unlike the former MVP, Oladipo can play off the ball pretty well.
Oladipo is currently averaging 20.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 4.2 assists.
And with the tandem of Oladipo and Wall, along with Eric Gordon at the three, Christian Wood at the four and DeMarcus Cousins at the five with P.J. Tucker and Jae’Sean Tate, Houston is actually looking like a pretty decent team.
As of the moment, the Rockets are 14th in the West with a 3-6 record but if this squad start playing better as a team, things could start to shift in H-Town.
Indiana Pacers (C. LaVert and 2nd Round Pick via Houston)
Out of the four teams that were involved in this trade, Indiana is probably the most surprising team that was got in on the action.
Before the trade the Pacers were already looking really good, sitting fourth in the East with a 7-4 record and having three guys scoring over 20 points per game.
Malcolm Brogdon 22.5 points, 7.5 assists and 4.1 rebounds, Domantas Sabonis, 21.8 points, 12.5 rebounds and 5.8 assists along with Oladipo’s numbers. They also have TJ Warren back who’s putting up 15.5 points and he’s only played four games so far.
So, it’s very surprising to see them trade their third highest scorer and probably their best player on the team to acquire an unproven rising star in Caris LeVert.
Don’t get me wrong, LeVert is already looking like a future All-Star this season. He’s averaging 18.5 points, 4.3 rebounds and 6.0 assists in just 27.5 minutes of playing time.
However, he’s putting up these numbers as an X-Factor on a team that has two future Hall of Famers, so his worth as a key option or one of the main guys on the team is still unknown.
But it seems that the Pacers saw something in LeVert and they’re ready to take a risk as they try to have a deep run in the playoffs this season.
Cleveland Cavaliers (J. Allen and T. Prince)
Cleveland have been pretty decent in the early stages of their campaign this season.
The Cavaliers are currently sitting outside of the top eight with a 5-7 record but not too far from the current eighth seed Atlanta, who has a 5-5 record.
Their early success can be credit to the stellar performance of the SexLand duo of Collin Sexton and Darius Garland.
Sexton is the team’s highest scorer with 25.5 points with 3.5 assists while Garland is putting up 17.2 points, 3.3 rebounds and 6.3 assists.
Other key players like Andre Drummond, Cedi Osman, Kevin Porter Jr, Larry Nance Jr, JaVale McGee and rookie Isaac Okoro are contributing pretty good as well.
Drummond is average 18.0 points, 15.1 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.5 blocks, Osman is putting up 12.1 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.6 assists.
Porter Jr is putting up 10.0 points, Nance Jr is putting up 10.2 points and 5.8 rebounds, McGee is contributing up 8.5 points and 6.7 rebounds while Okoro has been productive with 8.0 points a game under his name.
The Cavs already have a pretty decent line-up with multiple guys contributing at a decent level, but now with the addition of Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince things could only be better for them.
Although, it’s weird sight that Cleveland decided to acquire a rising center in Allen despite having a productive primed Drummond on the line-up, it’s still very interesting how these two could have a mentor-mentee relationship.
Allen has been averaging double-double this season with 11.2 points, 10.4 rebounds with 1.6 blocks per game. Prince have been productive as well with 8.1 points and 2.8 rebounds in only 18 minutes of playing time.
Now whether the Cavs decides to use some of their pieces as trade assets or just stack talents and hope for the best, Cleveland still won in this trade and the two pieces they got could definitely help them have a deep run this season.
Who do you think won the trade? Do you think the Nets will win it all? Do you think H-Town is still a playoff team? Do you think LeVert will flourish in Indiana? Do you think the Cavs could become better this season? Sound off in the comment section!