James Harden was one of the key players that led to Oklahoma City Thunder’s Finals run last postseason. His all-round game and playmaking smarts made him a very valuable piece off the bench for OKC, and he proved to be a reliable third scoring option after Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.
What no one expected however, was for James Harden to not stay around for the coming season.
According to Adrian Woj from Yahoo! Sports, Harden seemed to believe himself worthy of a max contract, and refused OKC’s contract offer of approximately 53 to 54 million dollars for 4 years. To go beyond that would have pushed OKC’s salary cap too far, and hence Sam Presti, OKC GM made a lightning trade offer to Houston, culminating in a trade that involved six players and three draft picks.
Oklahoma sends the following to Houston:
- James Harden
- Daequan Cook
- Cole Aldritch
- Lazar Hayward
Houston sends the following to Oklahoma:
- Kevin Martin
- Jeremy Lamb (rookie)
- Two 2013 first round picks
- One 2013 second round pick
And so it came to be, that Harden of The Beard left the Thunder, a young and growing team that will sorely miss his talents.
What do you think of the trade, was it a surprise to you? Should Harden have accepted the contract and remained in OKC for another postseason run? Let us know what you think in the comments below.