The next time the Warriors face James Harden, he won’t be wearing a Houston Rockets uniform.
That’s because Harden is being traded to the Brooklyn Nets in a blockbuster four-team deal that also involves the Cleveland Cavaliers and Indiana Pacers, according to multiple national reports.
The Warriors are scheduled to host Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving on Feb. 13 at Chase Center. It remains to be seen how that trio will co-exist, and there undoubtedly are people in the basketball world who believe things won’t end well for the Nets.
Brooklyn coach Steve Nash certainly has his work cut out for him in terms of keeping everybody happy and on the same page, but the talent is undeniable. And if the chemistry is strong — and if everything falls into the place — the Nets should be one of the top NBA title favorites for the next several years.
The Warriors, obviously, hope to meet Brooklyn in the NBA Finals at some point, and will have a much better chance when Klay Thompson returns from his torn right Achilles tendon next season. Ultimately, it’s a good thing for the Warriors that they aren’t in the same conference as the Nets.
As for the Rockets, they joined in on the fun:
This is somewhat of a risk for the Rockets because Victor Oladipo is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent this summer. If he doesn’t re-sign, Houston will wish it still had the very talented Caris LeVert onboard.
As for this season, we’ll see if the Warriors — who eliminated the Rockets from the postseason four times over a five-year span from 2015 to 2019 — end up battling Houston for playoff positioning.
In the end, Harden leaving the Rockets for the Nets is a massive deal, and the domino effect will be felt for years to come.