The Oklahoma City Thunder have reportedly traded James Harden to the Houston Rockets.
Early Saturday morning, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported that Harden had rejected a four-year, $53 million offer from OKC. He apparently believed that he deserved more; team brass did not want to exceed the $95 million payroll mark. There were some murmurs that perhaps this could be a sign of trouble, however, nobody really bought into the notion that the reigning Sixth Man of the Year could get traded. It just seemed inconceivable – Harden was too big a piece of the Thunder’s championship puzzle.
Or so we thought.
About 30 minutes ago, sources informed Wojnarowski that Harden was being traded from OKC to Houston for Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb, two 2013 first round picks and future draft considerations. Cole Aldridge, Lazar Hayward and Daequan Cook are also part of the deal.
Source confirms @wojyahoonba that Hou & OKC agree to Harden trade: JH, Cole Aldridge, Daquan Cook, Lazr Hayward 4 KMartin, JLamb, picks
— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) October 28, 2012
The Rockets, obviously, will give Harden the contract that he wants.
To clarify on the Harden extension in Houston, the Rockets could do a four or a five year, maximum extension with him.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) October 28, 2012
There will be plenty of time to dissect this move and what it means for both teams, but this much is for certain: the Los Angeles Lakers’ path to the NBA Finals just got a little less brutal.