Four-team NBA deal sends Harden to Brooklyn Nets

Houston Rockets' James Harden leaves the court following a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in an NBA basketball game Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, in Houston. (Carmen Mandato/Pool Photo via AP)
Houston Rockets' James Harden leaves the court following a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in an NBA basketball game Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, in Houston. (Carmen Mandato/Pool Photo via AP)

Indiana and Cleveland also part of trade.

Posted: Jan 13, 2021 4:17 PM

HOUSTON (AP) — The Brooklyn Nets have agreed to acquire three-time scoring champion James Harden from the Houston Rockets, a deal that reunites him with Kevin Durant and gives him the move that he has sought for weeks, said a person with knowledge of the situation.

Harden is going to the Nets as part of a four-team deal that also involves Indiana and Cleveland, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press Wednesday on condition of anonymity because the trade call with the NBA — which signs off on all deals — has not been completed.

At least four draft picks and additional pick swaps are also part of the deal, the person said. Other key players: Victor Oladipo goes from Indiana to Houston, and Caris Levert goes from Brooklyn to Indiana, the person said, adding that Cleveland was also part of the massive trade.

The deal was struck less than 24 hours after Harden seemed to deliver a farewell address of sorts following the Rockets' loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night.

“We’re just not good enough ... I love this city. I literally have done everything that I can,” Harden said Tuesday night. “I mean, this situation is crazy. It’s something that I don’t think can be fixed.”

It couldn't, and now he's gone.

It was obvious the end was nearing Wednesday, when the Rockets told him they didn’t want him at practice after his inflammatory comments about the team.

“We felt it was best for James and best for the group for him not to come to practice,” first-year coach Stephen Silas said. About two hours later, ESPN and The Athletic first reported that Harden was being moved.

The disgruntled superstar had remained quiet through months of speculation that he was unhappy in Houston. Silas called the drama surrounding Harden an “all-around messed up situation." He was then asked what he thought about Harden saying the Rockets are “just not good enough."

“That’s hard to hear, especially when you don’t believe it and you know it not to be true," said Silas, who noted he didn’t sleep at all on Tuesday night.

The Rockets begin a three-game road trip on Thursday night with the first of two straight games against San Antonio. The Nets — who now have a Big 3 of their own with Durant, Harden and Kyrie Irving, or will when Irving returns to the team — were playing in New York against the Knicks on Wednesday.

The Rockets are just 3-6 so far this season and only Minnesota has a worse record in the Western Conference. The team is clearly in disarray and new arrival John Wall called the situation “rocky.”

“There has to be some sort of resolution, whether it’s a complete buy-in at some level or some other way to kind of get it taken care of,” Silas said. “So, yeah, it’s not it’s not an easy situation by any stretch of the imagination. But the team atmosphere... the good of the team, I say everybody needs to be pointed in the same direction and that’s what’s best.”

Harden won each of the last three scoring titles by notable margins — 2.3 points over Anthony Davis in 2017-18, 8.1 points over Paul George in 2018-19 and 3.8 points over Bradley Beal last season. His 24.8-point average so far this season ranked 18th in the NBA, still putting him among the leaders but obviously well off his usual pace.

He’s averaged at least 25 points per game in each of his eight full seasons with the Rockets, but he has never been able to get the team, which hasn't won a title since winning two straight in 1994-95, past the Western Conference finals.

Harden reported late for camp. He also was fined $50,000 earlier this season for conduct detrimental to the league related to him not following the health and safety protocols put into place by the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association for navigating a season during the pandemic.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 604509

Reported Deaths: 7638
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1249671779
Ramsey52513897
Dakota46840471
Anoka42774458
Washington27428291
Stearns22557225
St. Louis18138313
Scott17551136
Wright16379149
Olmsted13399102
Sherburne1202095
Carver1067448
Clay826192
Rice8202110
Blue Earth762644
Crow Wing681795
Kandiyohi667985
Chisago619952
Otter Tail585884
Benton582998
Goodhue483874
Douglas475581
Mower470533
Winona461351
Itasca459763
Isanti440064
McLeod430661
Morrison424762
Beltrami407861
Nobles407650
Steele397816
Polk389072
Becker386755
Lyon363853
Carlton353056
Freeborn347033
Pine334923
Nicollet331245
Mille Lacs311854
Brown307840
Le Sueur297326
Cass286232
Todd285633
Meeker263443
Waseca238023
Martin235332
Roseau211221
Wabasha20793
Hubbard196641
Dodge18783
Renville182446
Redwood176539
Houston174616
Cottonwood167124
Wadena163323
Fillmore157610
Faribault154719
Chippewa154038
Pennington153820
Kanabec146828
Sibley146810
Aitkin138937
Watonwan13579
Rock128719
Jackson122712
Pipestone116726
Yellow Medicine114920
Pope11306
Murray107110
Swift106918
Koochiching95418
Stevens92411
Clearwater89016
Marshall88817
Lake83220
Wilkin83213
Lac qui Parle75622
Big Stone6044
Grant5948
Lincoln5853
Mahnomen5669
Norman5479
Kittson49022
Unassigned48193
Red Lake4017
Traverse3775
Lake of the Woods3453
Cook1720

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 371101

Reported Deaths: 6053
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk58263640
Linn21221339
Scott20308248
Black Hawk16157312
Woodbury15240230
Johnson1462385
Dubuque13510211
Dallas1129199
Pottawattamie11228174
Story1071648
Warren583791
Clinton561593
Cerro Gordo554095
Sioux517574
Webster515894
Muscatine4882106
Marshall486976
Des Moines467672
Wapello4338122
Buena Vista426940
Jasper421172
Plymouth403181
Lee382356
Marion366076
Jones300957
Henry294637
Bremer288461
Carroll287152
Boone268634
Crawford268240
Benton259855
Washington257351
Dickinson249344
Mahaska232651
Jackson225242
Clay216727
Kossuth216166
Tama212071
Delaware211143
Winneshiek198735
Page194522
Buchanan194033
Cedar192423
Hardin187544
Fayette186643
Wright186040
Hamilton181951
Harrison180073
Clayton171057
Butler166335
Madison164619
Mills163824
Floyd163442
Cherokee159338
Lyon158841
Poweshiek157036
Allamakee152952
Hancock150334
Iowa149824
Winnebago144531
Cass139255
Calhoun138913
Grundy137233
Emmet135841
Jefferson133535
Shelby131837
Sac130920
Union130035
Louisa129649
Appanoose129049
Mitchell126643
Chickasaw124917
Franklin123523
Guthrie123332
Humboldt119626
Palo Alto113623
Howard105022
Montgomery103638
Clarke100924
Keokuk96732
Monroe96431
Unassigned9540
Ida91535
Adair87332
Pocahontas85822
Davis85225
Monona82931
Osceola78916
Greene78011
Lucas77923
Worth7618
Taylor66812
Fremont6269
Decatur6169
Ringgold56424
Van Buren56318
Wayne54423
Audubon53311
Adams3444
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