ROCKET SCIENCE

Rockets make the best out of a bad situation by trading Harden

It's time for the Rockets to rebuild. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta released an official statement regarding James Harden being traded to the Brooklyn Nets as part of a complicated four-team deal.

“On behalf of the entire Rockets organization and the City of Houston. I'd like to thank James Harden for an amazing eight-plus seasons in a Rockets uniform. James has provided us with so many great memories as we've watched him grow from Sixth Man of the Year to a perennial All-Star and MVP. My family and I also want to thank James for his many off the court contributions, including charitable donations and multiple annual community events. We wish James the best of luck and will always be grateful for the memories." Fertitta said.

In a post-game press conference earlier this week, Harden was brutally honest. He said he didn't believe that this Rockets' roster was talented enough to bring an NBA title to Houston. It's tough to argue that after seeing the Rockets' pair of blow-out losses to Western Conference rival Los Angeles Lakers. Harden isn't getting any younger, and the Brooklyn Nets situation presents him a perfect opportunity for a championship. Fifteen games into the season, Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets realize that Kyrie Irving is an unreliable contributor, and bringing in Harden to take over as the No. 2 star was the best possible trade option.

As for the Rockets

The Houston Rockets were the engine that drove the multi-team trade that sent James Harden to Brooklyn. In return the Rockets received Caris Levert, Rodions Kurucs, three unprotected first round picks (2022, 2024, and 2026), and the right to exchange first round picks with the Nets in 2021, 2023, 2025, and 2027.

The Rockets also acquired Danté Exum and Milwaukee's first-round pick in 2022 from the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Rockets general manager Rafael Stone executed his first major trade in flawless fashion. Although Rockets fans are trashing Harden on his way out, this was the best deal that the Rockets could have received in exchange for the disgruntled Beard.

It is tough to understand why anyone would have a sour taste in their mouth about Harden leaving. It is clear that Harden did not mean to bad mouth the Rockets.

“For me, knowing him, I don't think he meant it as far as to really disrespect us. I think he just wanted a different situation. He's shown that and he also said it. He wanted his way out. And he got it," Rockets guard Eric Gordon said at the Rockets Thursday morning shoot around.

This trade was a win for Rafael Stone, and he now has the blueprint to build a winning franchise for the coming decade. Over the past nine seasons, the Houston Rockets have followed through on every acquisition that Harden requested (Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, and Russell Westbrook). Harden has played at an All-Star level each year in Houston, winning three scoring titles along the way. Harden solidified himself as one of the top scorers in NBA history. If it weren't for a CP3 hamstring injury and an all-time Golden State Warriors super team, Harden would've brought home the Rockets third championship title.

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