NBA Roundtable

James Harden Traded To Houston

In Trade Talk on October 27, 2012 at 11:02 pm

Trade Details

Houston Rockets receive: James Harden, Cole Aldrich, Daequan Cook, Lazar Hayward

Oklahoma City receive: Kevin Martin, 2013 Raptors first rounder, Jeremy Lamb, 2013 Mavericks first rounder, 2013 Bobcats second rounder

Trade Reaction

Houston Rockets

Excellent deal for Houston. They traded some scraps, two mid-first round picks and a mid-lottery pick for the best young two guard in the NBA who is already one of the top five SGs in the league (top 25 player in the league with potential for more).

Not a franchise player but a genuine building block. A guy who can be the 2nd or 3rd best player on a Championship caliber team.

Houston is finally on their way to building a new high level team after the departure of Yao Ming.

The other pieces – Cole Aldrich is a nice prospect as a backup center. Has some potential as a defender/rebounder and gives Houston a much needed interior defender behind Omer Asik. Aldrich should see some minutes this season for Houston. Daequan Cook is below average but solid backup two guard. A solid short term addition to Houston’s team. I haven’t seen much out of Lazar Hayward.

Rockets Team Summary

PG: Jeremy Lin, Shaun Livingston, Toney Douglas
SG: James Harden, Daequan Cook, Gary Forbes
SF: Chandler Parsons, Carlos Delfino, Marcus Morris
PF: Donatus Motiejunas, Terrence Jones, Patrick Patterson, Royce White
C:  Omer Asik, Cole Aldrich, (Donatus Motiejunas)

I’d love to see Houston move Motiejunas into the starting lineup. They don’t really have a clear cut starter there and Motiejunas is their most exciting big man prospect.

James Harden is an excellent player who can function alongside anyone in any type of system. Just as he will in this Rockets team.

Oklahoma City Thunder

I think the Raptors 2013 first rounder could be really valuable. Probably end up in that 6-11 range. No idea what next year’s draft class is like but that is a pretty valuable range in the draft to be. Good chance to land an above average starter or take a high risk/reward guy with All-Star potential.

The Mavs 2013 first rounder should be somewhere in the mid to late teens. If Dirk gets another injury (not inconceivable), I could see Dallas finishing outside of the playoffs. [Edit: Mavs pick is top 20 protected so it’s unclear when OKC will actually get this pick].

That 2013 2nd rounder from Charlotte should be right at the start of the second round. Comparable value to a late first rounder. Good chance to add a rotation caliber player at that juncture in the draft.

I don’t know enough about Jeremy Lamb. Reports on him seem very mixed. Looks to be a rotation caliber talent anyways. Possibility of being an above average starter down the road.

Kevin Martin should be their starting two guard with Thabo Sefolosha moving to the bench. Martin isn’t really a creator (one-on-one player or playmaker) so I don’t think he can lead a 2nd unit’s offense the way Harden did. I am thinking it’s better to keep Kevin Martin alongside superior offensive threats and find opportunities within the flow of the offense. Ibaka and Perk are both low usage guys so the starting lineup should be able to function well enough offensively.

Two prolific scoring wings who can get you 50ppg on a TS% north of 60% is quite a weapon. Russell Westbrook on top of that (another 20-25ppg). Impressive firepower. I wouldn’t consider Westbrook to be the type of player Kevin Martin plays well with but Durant makes it work so maybe Martin can too …

Thunder Team Summary

PG: Russell Westbrook, Eric Maynor, Reggie Jackson
SG: Kevin Martin, Thabo Sefolosha, Jeremy Lamb
SF: Kevin Durant, (Thabo Sefolosha), Perry Jones III
PF: Serge Ibaka, (Kevin Durant), (Perry Jones III), (Nick Collison)
C:  Kendrick Perkins, Nick Collison, Hasheem Thabeet

I think Perk is going to really neeed to raise his game as a defender/rebounder next season. If he does that, Oklahoma looks mighty tough to beat.

I think they need to shift Collison back to the center position. They need his quickness and mobility as a defender behind a plodder like Perk. Plus, need more big man (PF/C) shooting on the floor. To bring in a capable jump-shooter at PF behind Ibaka to give better floor spacing.

It would be nice if they could pickup a veteran shooter to come off the bench on the wing. Someone more dependable than their two rookies (Lamb and Perry Jones) and who provides a contrast to Sefolosha’s skill-set (defender/rebounder, limited offensively).

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