James Harden to Brooklyn

BigSoxFan

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Guessing that HOU didn't want LaVert's long-term contract. If this is correct, as mentioned upthread, HOU is going to see how far they go this year - for optics reasons - and then look to tear it all down next year.

Wall and LaVert and Wood are probably good enough to keep them in the low playoff seed merry-go-round.
Probably not but you'd think they could have gotten a better deal than an expiring Oladipo. Someone would gladly give up a first for 3 years of LeVert. Shoot, I wish it would have been the Celtics. He would have been a perfect TPE candidate. We'll have to see what Houston does with Oladipo. Maybe they deal him at the deadline and get that 1st. I'd take him on the Celtics too.
 

BigSoxFan

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Ainge confirmed on Toucher and Rich that they had multiple conversations (not recently)with Houston regarding James Harden, but the price was too high.
Clearly wanted Jaylen and multiple picks/young talent. Ainge did his job here. Investigated but walked away when the price got/remained too high. Houston probably knew that they had this godfather offer from NJ in their back pocket so no reason to back down.
 

Devizier

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Has there ever been a team with higher variance than the current iteration of the Nets?

They could be historically fantastic or a complete dumpster fire. It will be fascinating to watch.
 

ColonelMustard

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Trying to parse Houston's draft capital over the next few years. Please correct where I'm wrong.

2021: Swap with Nets, which seems highly unlikely to be used. And the worse of their own or OKC, top-4 protected.
2022: Their own plus the Nets and Bucks picks. Tankathon target.
2023: Swap with Nets. Tankathon, part deux.
2024: Nets pick.
2025: Worse of their own or OKC's, albeit top-20 protected for Houston, and rights to swap that with the Nets pick.
2026: Nets pick.
2027: Swap with Nets.

I'm not as critical as @nighthob on the above, as the Rockets lack of draft capital in the mid-2020's is due to a trade that already happened. Basically, Houston took the best path to restocking the draft cupboard. If I were GM, I would definitely prime 2022/23 to be the tank years. At least Houston tends to be on the radar for NBA free agents; the weather there is quite nice in NBA season, and the area seems friendly to those wanting the NBA lifestyle.

The Nets will obviously be a top team through at least 2022. Durant and Harden alone are enough, IMO; Kyrie is basically a useful addition for them at this point. Hell, Terry Rozier or Lonzo Ball or Rajon Rondo would be more than enough for them at the PG position. At this point, Kyrie becomes a "who cares". If he doesn't want to play for Nash, trade him for a mini-haul and move on.

There's indeed longer term risk for the Nets. I don't think it's a given that these strong-willed, highly competitive individuals would want to stay together in the same locale year after year after year. Durant could leave after 2022 for whatever reason, and he has a track record of doing exactly that. Maybe the Zion Pelicans become an attractive target for him to spend his mid-to-late 30's. The same goes for Harden. There's absolutely no way to predict how those 2025 or 2026 draft picks will end up, and anyone that claims they can model that is full of shit. For years, we've heard how valuable the Kings and the Grizzlies pick were going to be, until both teams unexpectedly improved and the picks turned into Langford and Nesmith. The same can happen in the other direction as well.

Still, it was the right move for the Nets. I distinctly remember Bob Ryan's "maybe they will make the playoffs" comment after KG and Ray Allen joined Pierce. The reality is that you have to try real, real hard to screw up a team with two players who can lay claim to a spot on the first All-NBA team in a given season. The Nets have never won anything, but now have a chance to be a huge draw once the needles are in everyone's arms, which will be no later than next season come hell or high water. There's no point constantly waiting for the future; the ceiling for most draft picks is decent player.

Let's put it this way: if Harden cannot make it work with KD, he should no longer be considered a top 5 player in the league.
Great analysis. The draft capital looks right to me.

I do see more of @nightbob point. It all hinges on if the stars resign. If the Nets are wildly successful, not a guarantee by any means, then the picks are not as valuable. The stars also have an opportunity to brand with NYC's rebuild. (Aside: I'm really hopeful for a maximum economic impact from these individuals for the NYC area. I don't run a consumer-facing company but if I did, I would definitely take advantage of the potential branding power. They all need some brand rehabilitation and I can see an NYC-based tech (mobile banking etc.) company jumping on this opportunity.)

Building on your analysis this is what I believe is their likely haul (21,23 Swap unlikely; 2025, 2027 Swap likely)

If the stars resign: 2 mid-round picks 15-25, 2 Lottery Picks (7-14)

If the stars don't resign: 1 mid-round picks 15-25, 4 lottery picks (1-7)

NOTES:
2022 Pick 20-25: - I don't believe the Nets have the depth/desire to have the best record in the league
2024 Pick 15-20: If the stars resign (Nets were 4th in the east for 2013-14 Season with Pierce/Garnett). If they don't, the pick is top 7. I think the odds of either are anyone guess
2025 Swap Wash: This swap has significant upside if the stars don't resign
2026 Pick 7-14: This would be Durant's (38) and Harden (37). Even Lebron is 36 right now. They would need younger talent to join them.

This does not take into account three factors that increase variance:
1) Durant reinjury
2) Kyrie AWOL (less likely)
3) Harden ate his way out (least likely)
 
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lovegtm

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Probably not but you'd think they could have gotten a better deal than an expiring Oladipo. Someone would gladly give up a first for 3 years of LeVert. Shoot, I wish it would have been the Celtics. He would have been a perfect TPE candidate. We'll have to see what Houston does with Oladipo. Maybe they deal him at the deadline and get that 1st. I'd take him on the Celtics too.
Yeah, I'm disappointed the Celtics couldn't get in on that; he'd be a perfect fit. Plus Fertita would have saved money, and that's what the NBA is all about.
 

PedroKsBambino

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I think they valued Oladipo for this year, otherwise I don't really get the sequence for them. They may see Oladipo as having "option value" going forward too depending on fit.

If they don't, we'll see them put him back on the market before deadline anyway. But I don't think Celtics can outbid others for him all that realistically.
 

BigSoxFan

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I think they valued Oladipo for this year, otherwise I don't really get the sequence for them. They may see Oladipo as having "option value" going forward too depending on fit.

If they don't, we'll see them put him back on the market before deadline anyway. But I don't think Celtics can outbid others for him all that realistically.
Just is a weird fit. Oladipo turns 29 in May. Houston won't be good any time soon. For it to make sense to me, Houston would need to get more for Oladipo in February than they could get for LeVert now. Or, they could keep LeVert and see if a better deal arises in the summer before or after the draft, as he'll have 2 years at reasonable money after this season.

Celtics could have offered Romeo or Nesmith and a 1st for LeVert and taken him into the TPE. Houston would have gotten a young player with potential, a 1st, AND much-needed cash relief. Not sure I'd make that same offer for an Oladipo rental. LeVert would have been a perfect 6th man and starter-fill in should a Jay go down for any length of time. It sucks that Indy got him for a guy they were months away from losing.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Just is a weird fit. Oladipo turns 29 in May. Houston won't be good any time soon. For it to make sense to me, Houston would need to get more for Oladipo in February than they could get for LeVert now. Or, they could keep LeVert and see if a better deal arises in the summer before or after the draft, as he'll have 2 years at reasonable money after this season.

Celtics could have offered Romeo or Nesmith and a 1st for LeVert and taken him into the TPE. Houston would have gotten a young player with potential, a 1st, AND much-needed cash relief. Not sure I'd make that same offer for an Oladipo rental. LeVert would have been a perfect 6th man and starter-fill in should a Jay go down for any length of time. It sucks that Indy got him for a guy they were months away from losing.
I agree that it's a weird trade for HOU but I'm guessing the optionality of not re-signing Oladipo if things go south may have been enticing to HOU.

As for money, HOU is apparently now under the luxury tax. Someone on twitter wrote this:

Rockets go from $5.2M over the luxury tax and just $1.1M under the apron to $3.7M under the tax and $8.3M under the apron. They finally have some flexibility this season.
By putting Kurucs in the Nene TPE, Rockets generate a $10.7M TPE by trading Harden for Oladipo and Exum.

View: https://twitter.com/YossiGozlan/status/1349479745294016512
 

PedroKsBambino

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Just is a weird fit. Oladipo turns 29 in May. Houston won't be good any time soon. For it to make sense to me, Houston would need to get more for Oladipo in February than they could get for LeVert now. Or, they could keep LeVert and see if a better deal arises in the summer before or after the draft, as he'll have 2 years at reasonable money after this season.

Celtics could have offered Romeo or Nesmith and a 1st for LeVert and taken him into the TPE. Houston would have gotten a young player with potential, a 1st, AND much-needed cash relief. Not sure I'd make that same offer for an Oladipo rental. LeVert would have been a perfect 6th man and starter-fill in should a Jay go down for any length of time. It sucks that Indy got him for a guy they were months away from losing.
If I'm Houston I expect to do better with Oladipo than that, frankly. A low 1st and (effectively) a partially-consumed and unproven mid-1st is ok but a near-all star player is far more valuable. And I think the cap room is also more valuable. I think they are open to keeping him and open to deciding it's not a fit and trading him. They must have valued that more than LeVert which surpirses me a bit, but is not insane given that "good" Oladipo is clearly better than anything we've seen from LeVert
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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One other salary cap note. Nets made a decision to include Prince's contract rather than Dinwiddie's contract into the deal even though the Nets are clearly lacking bodies. Hollinger notes in his Athletic article (https://theathletic.com/2321993/2021/01/14/james-harden-trade-takeaways-rockets-pacers-cavs/) that keeping Prince would have had exorbitant impacts on projected luxury tax payments: "However, it seems the issue facing the Nets was the potentially breathtaking luxury tax payment they would have owed next season had Prince’s money ($13 million) stayed on their books. With the Nets already looking at owing $70 million to $80 million in 2022 luxury tax penalties without Prince’s contract, and his deal adding as much as $50 million in additional tax penalty, it’s pretty easy to see why the Nets went in this direction. "
 

HowBoutDemSox

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I agree that it's a weird trade for HOU but I'm guessing the optionality of not re-signing Oladipo if things go south may have been enticing to HOU.

As for money, HOU is apparently now under the luxury tax. Someone on twitter wrote this:

Rockets go from $5.2M over the luxury tax and just $1.1M under the apron to $3.7M under the tax and $8.3M under the apron. They finally have some flexibility this season.
By putting Kurucs in the Nene TPE, Rockets generate a $10.7M TPE by trading Harden for Oladipo and Exum.

View: https://twitter.com/YossiGozlan/status/1349479745294016512
Anyone want to guess when the next time Fertitta lets them get back over the tax? Over/under of five years? After that last pick swap from Brooklyn resolves in 2027? Until he sells the team?
 

Kliq

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I don't think we have ever seen three players so ball-dominant on one team. Harden has been historically hoggish with the ball over the last few years and has not meshed well while playing with ONE additional primary ball-handler in Paul and Westbrook, now he will need to do it with two and he also has to display off-ball skills he has yet to show. Kyrie was good playing off of LeBron, but he also shot his way out of Cleveland because he wanted to be the guy, so I'm not sure how well he will play with Durant and now Harden also cutting into his chances. Durant played well with Curry and can play well off the ball and still get his; but I'm still dubious to see how he will react to living with Kyrie and Harden ISOs half the time down the floor.

In previous Big Three's, somebody always sacrificed and turned into someone that didn't need the ball. In Cleveland it happened naturally, because Love got injured and turned into just a super role player who could shoot, rebound and pass. In Miami, Bosh turned into a similar role. In Golden State, Klay never dribbles the ball and is always happy. With the Celtics, Ray and KG didn't need to dribble.
 

BigSoxFan

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If I'm Houston I expect to do better with Oladipo than that, frankly. A low 1st and (effectively) a partially-consumed and unproven mid-1st is ok but a near-all star player is far more valuable. And I think the cap room is also more valuable. I think they are open to keeping him and open to deciding it's not a fit and trading him. They must have valued that more than LeVert which surpirses me a bit, but is not insane given that "good" Oladipo is clearly better than anything we've seen from LeVert
You think an Oladipo rental or the option to pay him a lot for his 29-32 seasons is worth more than a recent late lotto pick and a future #1? Just a couple months ago, people on this board were basically calling him cooked. He has seemingly had a pretty solid start to the season but he needs to go to a team that can win now. He doesn't have much value to a rebuilding team given his age. I also wouldn't cap my offer at Romeo/1st if Oladipo or LeVert were actually available. Both of them would be major upgrades for the Celtics.
 

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That does not have a lot of relevance here, imo. Harden came off the bench for that team.
He played 31 mpg. They were on the floor together a lot. RWB/Durant/Harden were on the floor in 5 of OKC’s 8 most used 5-man units.

 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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They were all a lot younger, but Durant/Westbrook/Harden in OKC.
Harden wasn't Harden then. In his last year in OKC, he had didn't start; had a USG% of 21.6; and only took 10 shots a game. Of course he shot 39% from 3P and had an EF% of .582.

I can only imagine the internet reaction if some current team traded the #3 pick in the draft that was shooting like that without ever being in the starting lineup.
 

Kliq

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He played 31 mpg. They were on the floor together a lot. RWB/Durant/Harden were on the floor in 5 of OKC’s 8 most used 5-man units.

I'm aware, but isn't remotely close to the current situation. You think Harden is going to to be coming off the bench in Brooklyn?
 

slamminsammya

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I'm aware, but isn't remotely close to the current situation. You think Harden is going to to be coming off the bench in Brooklyn?
I think the question is whether Harden is capable of playing off the ball, which he clearly was once upon a time. Who knows if he is willing or able now.
 

Kliq

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I think the question is whether Harden is capable of playing off the ball, which he clearly was once upon a time. Who knows if he is willing or able now.
And if he averages 16-4-3 like he did in OKC, the trade will be a disaster.

Look, we don't need to go back to OKC to see if Harden can play off-ball. We saw him with Westbrook and Paul in recent years; he doesn't offer a lot if he doesn't have the ball in his hands. Now he is coming into a situation with TWO ball-dominant teammates and not just one. Harden is capable of almost anything because he is so talented, but we haven't seen him mesh well with another ball-dominant player in a decade.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I'm aware, but isn't remotely close to the current situation. You think Harden is going to to be coming off the bench in Brooklyn?
Does that really matter? Without LeVert on the 2nd unit I’m sure the minutes will be staggered so one of Kyrie/Harden are on the floor just as it was in OKC resulting in similar time on the court together.
 

Cesar Crespo

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The LeVert stuff is curious but he's also 26 (2 years younger than Victor) and not really someone you need in a rebuilding process. One would think they'd be able to flip LeVert for better assets than Oladipo but who knows.
 

joe dokes

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I don't think we have ever seen three players so ball-dominant on one team. Harden has been historically hoggish with the ball over the last few years and has not meshed well while playing with ONE additional primary ball-handler in Paul and Westbrook, now he will need to do it with two and he also has to display off-ball skills he has yet to show. Kyrie was good playing off of LeBron, but he also shot his way out of Cleveland because he wanted to be the guy, so I'm not sure how well he will play with Durant and now Harden also cutting into his chances. Durant played well with Curry and can play well off the ball and still get his; but I'm still dubious to see how he will react to living with Kyrie and Harden ISOs half the time down the floor.

In previous Big Three's, somebody always sacrificed and turned into someone that didn't need the ball. In Cleveland it happened naturally, because Love got injured and turned into just a super role player who could shoot, rebound and pass. In Miami, Bosh turned into a similar role. In Golden State, Klay never dribbles the ball and is always happy. With the Celtics, Ray and KG didn't need to dribble.
It also might depend on whether Nash can get them to sort it out as Rivers, Riley and Kerr did.
 

nighthob

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You think an Oladipo rental or the option to pay him a lot for his 29-32 seasons is worth more than a recent late lotto pick and a future #1? Just a couple months ago, people on this board were basically calling him cooked. He has seemingly had a pretty solid start to the season but he needs to go to a team that can win now. He doesn't have much value to a rebuilding team given his age. I also wouldn't cap my offer at Romeo/1st if Oladipo or LeVert were actually available. Both of them would be major upgrades for the Celtics.
I think they valued the optics of losing a pick in the 12-17 range over the optics of losing one in the 6-10 range. Which, as I stated at the outset, was a mistake. If OKC wasn't willing to cancel the swap for LaVert (which they apparently weren't), Houston's options were limited. I'm sure there were better long term deals for them, but they couldn't bring themselves to forget about the optics (and this happens a lot, like the Kings a few years ago bleeding out every win to justify a terrible trade with Philly).
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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You think an Oladipo rental or the option to pay him a lot for his 29-32 seasons is worth more than a recent late lotto pick and a future #1? Just a couple months ago, people on this board were basically calling him cooked. He has seemingly had a pretty solid start to the season but he needs to go to a team that can win now. He doesn't have much value to a rebuilding team given his age. I also wouldn't cap my offer at Romeo/1st if Oladipo or LeVert were actually available. Both of them would be major upgrades for the Celtics.
Ever since Bill Simmons and some NBA writers I don't recall off the top of my head made the point about Fertitta's wealth from the hospitality businesses he runs taking a Covid hit, I've started (fairly or unfairly) viewing the Rockets moves with respect to what it does to their cash flow. This move at least makes sense as far as that.
 

BigSoxFan

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I think they valued the optics of losing a pick in the 12-17 range over the optics of losing one in the 6-10 range. Which, as I stated at the outset, was a mistake. If OKC wasn't willing to cancel the swap for LaVert (which they apparently weren't), Houston's options were limited. I'm sure there were better long term deals for them, but they couldn't bring themselves to forget about the optics (and this happens a lot, like the Kings a few years ago bleeding out every win to justify a terrible trade with Philly).
That would be incredibly short-sighted but you may be right. Then again, giving away top picks is kind of what the city of Houston does. Rockets are currently 3-6 and have 5th worst record. If you replace Oladipo with some young guys, they likely stay in the top 5. At that point, they're basically a coin toss from the top 4 and keeping their pick. You'd think they would be aiming for that while also saving money by offloading contracts since Fertitta is poorer than Kenny McCormick now.
 

slamminsammya

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And if he averages 16-4-3 like he did in OKC, the trade will be a disaster.

Look, we don't need to go back to OKC to see if Harden can play off-ball. We saw him with Westbrook and Paul in recent years; he doesn't offer a lot if he doesn't have the ball in his hands. Now he is coming into a situation with TWO ball-dominant teammates and not just one. Harden is capable of almost anything because he is so talented, but we haven't seen him mesh well with another ball-dominant player in a decade.
I dont understand how the Chris Paul example helps your point. The Rockets offenses with Paul were 1st and 2nd in the NBA chronologically, and the 2018 version was a half of basketball away from knocking off one of the best teams ever. If anything, those teams show that you can have Harden lolligag around doing nothing half the time on offense, and he still commands enough attention to allow the rest of the offense to thrive.

Westbrook is another story, but I think it says more about Westbrook than Harden. That team was still 6th in the league in offense despite pretty much all of their three point shooters turning into pumpkins.
 

nighthob

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2021: Swap with Nets, which seems highly unlikely to be used. And the worse of their own or OKC, top-4 protected.
This swap actually might be used. Houston owns the worst of their pick, the OKC pick, and the Miami pick. And the Heat could well be better than the Nets, meaning that they might gain a few spots in the ‘21 draft.
 

nighthob

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That would be incredibly short-sighted but you may be right. Then again, giving away top picks is kind of what the city of Houston does. Rockets are currently 3-6 and have 5th worst record. If you replace Oladipo with some young guys, they likely stay in the top 5. At that point, they're basically a coin toss from the top 4 and keeping their pick. You'd think they would be aiming for that while also saving money by offloading contracts since Fertitta is poorer than Kenny McCormick now.
Also, don’t forget that the play-in is here to stay, so at the least they more likely get post-season basketball out of this.
 

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Yahoo reporting that Houston wouldn't budge off of Jaylen, Smart, multiple 1sts for Harden. So, Ainge pretty much knew the price for a while and then bowed out. My guess is that price from Philly was Simmons, Maxey, and multiple 1sts and they, too, likely backed out.
 

ManicCompression

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I dont understand how the Chris Paul example helps your point. The Rockets offenses with Paul were 1st and 2nd in the NBA chronologically, and the 2018 version was a half of basketball away from knocking off one of the best teams ever. If anything, those teams show that you can have Harden lolligag around doing nothing half the time on offense, and he still commands enough attention to allow the rest of the offense to thrive.
Yes, and by year two Paul was already sick of Harden and couldn't stand the way that JH totally disengaged whenever he didn't have the ball. Now, take an even more mercurial personality in Kyrie and add KD, who's the best of the group when healthy, and you can see why people are skeptical it's going to work, especially considering that KD and Kyrie are better scorers than Paul and look for their shot in a way that he doesn't. Plus Harden is older and out of shape.

That's leaving out the defensive aspect of this, which is also important considering Houston's entire scheme revolved around making him do as little work as possible. They can't do that same thing in BK.
 

slamminsammya

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Yes, and by year two Paul was already sick of Harden and couldn't stand the way that JH totally disengaged whenever he didn't have the ball. Now, take an even more mercurial personality in Kyrie and add KD, who's the best of the group when healthy, and you can see why people are skeptical it's going to work, especially considering that KD and Kyrie are better scorers than Paul and look for their shot in a way that he doesn't. Plus Harden is older and out of shape.

That's leaving out the defensive aspect of this, which is also important considering Houston's entire scheme revolved around making him do as little work as possible. They can't do that same thing in BK.
Definitely, I suppose the question of whether they work on the court is separate to whether they enjoy it. We have definitely seen teams that were dynamite between the lines but couldn't hold together due to mutual dislike, with the 2000's Lakers being the prime example.
 

radsoxfan

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Assuming everything falls right for the next in the next couple years for the Nets.... no Durant injuries, Harden in shape, Kyrie motivated, on court chemistry gets figured out....how good can a team like that get?

Of course they have the potential to be historically good at scoring and individual playmaking. But only Durant is a good defender and they dont have much rebounding or depth. Can that offense make up for everything else?

Will be fascinating to watch, as other "Big 3s" have typically had more versatility than this. I think the skill redundancy is going to be problem for them winning a title, this isn't baseball.
 

nighthob

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Depth is absolutely a problem this year, barring an Irving for roleplayers trade. Going forward? I expect ringchasers to line up to play next to Durant and Harden. (I think that as far as the Nets are concerned, Irving served his purpose by getting Durant to sign and they're going to be very open to dealing him for a collection of Joe Harris level plyers.)
 

nighthob

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Yahoo reporting that Houston wouldn't budge off of Jaylen, Smart, multiple 1sts for Harden. So, Ainge pretty much knew the price for a while and then bowed out. My guess is that price from Philly was Simmons, Maxey, and multiple 1sts and they, too, likely backed out.
It's weird that they demanded $3 on the dollar from Boston and Philly while they were willing to sell him to the Nets for pennies on the dollar. There was a tweet I saw overnight (from someone hooked into Philly) that they demanded Simmons/Maxey/Thybulle and a similar pick package for him there. I mean, with zero picks that Philly offer beats the one they took hands down. At the least they could have moved Simmons to OKC for a giant pick haul and rebuilt from the '21-23 drafts.

I mean on the off chance that they landed #1, a Cunningham/Maxey backcourt would be pretty killer long term and a great starting place.
 

BigSoxFan

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It's weird that they demanded $3 on the dollar from Boston and Philly while they were willing to sell him to the Nets for pennies on the dollar. There was a tweet I saw overnight (from someone hooked into Philly) that they demanded Simmons/Maxey/Thybulle and a similar pick package for him there. I mean, with zero picks that Philly offer beats the one they took hands down. At the least they could have moved Simmons to OKC for a giant pick haul and rebuilt from the '21-23 drafts.

I mean on the off chance that they landed #1, a Cunningham/Maxey backcourt would be pretty killer long term and a great starting place.
Yeah, it's strange, especially from the Philly perspective. The Celtics talks were DOA because Jaylen was off limits and our remaining young guys are projected role players but Philly was seemingly dangling Simmons, who is only 24 and signed for 4+ years and is already a top 20ish talent. If you can add a guy like Thybulle or Maxey, great, but Simmons is obviously the prize. For a 31 year-old on his way out, that's a very good return. It's fun to dream on all those picks and swaps but the odds of them getting their own Tatum/Brown combo is still quite low. There will be some James Young's and Romeo Langford's sprinkled in. As you have mentioned, OKC and others would likely have jumped at the opportunity to deal a handful of their picks for Simmons, if Houston didn't want him, for whatever reason.

It's silly but can't help but wonder if there was a Morey premium placed on Philly's offers.
 

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I think Houston's biggest choice was how much 'value' to seek in players vs picks. They clearly prioritized picks, and while there's a case for that I would have prioritized Simmons (e.g. an upper-level player).

I agree that the offers look unqual, but the offers also weren't accepted....so, in the end, I expect they would have looked less unequal had some teams not dropped out (so, Sixers last offer might well have been Simmons and a few picks)
 

ManicCompression

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May 14, 2015
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Yeah, it's strange, especially from the Philly perspective. The Celtics talks were DOA because Jaylen was off limits and our remaining young guys are projected role players but Philly was seemingly dangling Simmons, who is only 24 and signed for 4+ years and is already a top 20ish talent. If you can add a guy like Thybulle or Maxey, great, but Simmons is obviously the prize. For a 31 year-old on his way out, that's a very good return. It's fun to dream on all those picks and swaps but the odds of them getting their own Tatum/Brown combo is still quite low. There will be some James Young's and Romeo Langford's sprinkled in. As you have mentioned, OKC and others would likely have jumped at the opportunity to deal a handful of their picks for Simmons, if Houston didn't want him, for whatever reason.

It's silly but can't help but wonder if there was a Morey premium placed on Philly's offers.
I'm curious if Houston viewed that return as making them too good over the next couple of years. As Nighthob has pointed out (I think), with the picks they owe out, they kind of want to bottom out over the next couple of years to use their own picks and then get better in 3 seasons so they're not handing OKC top 10 picks every year. SImmons would make them probably a 40-45 win team over that period. They could try to trade Simmons, of course, but would he net anything close to what Harden just did? Prob not, so why not just get the picks now from what will be an old and inflexible Nets team.
 

jon abbey

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Jul 15, 2005
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It's silly but can't help but wonder if there was a Morey premium placed on Philly's offers.
Hollinger (who has been fantastic since coming back from the MEM front office) had an interesting thought:

"It seems bizarre that the Nets had to pay such an extravagant price. Harden had demanded a trade, and the Rockets weren’t overwhelmed with suitors. The only other known bidder for him, Philadelphia, may have been pushing seriously or may have been doing a favor for its former front-office mates."

https://theathletic.com/2321837/2021/01/14/james-harden-trade-nets-future/ (pay)
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Dec 24, 2002
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These reports are garbage. Of course Houston asked for a kings ransom - that is how negotiations get done. The only information that is valuable besides the terms of the deal are what a Morey or Ainge was actually willing to pay to get a deal done. So yeah, Brown, Smart+ is silly but an entirely reasonable opening ask from the Rockets.

From where I sit, you cannnot really evaluate the trade properly without knowing what Houston's real return would have been away from Brooklyn - or at least without making a lot of assumptions about the the thought processes of all the parties involved.
 

BigSoxFan

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May 31, 2007
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Hollinger (who has been fantastic since coming back from the MEM front office) had an interesting thought:

"It seems bizarre that the Nets had to pay such an extravagant price. Harden had demanded a trade, and the Rockets weren’t overwhelmed with suitors. The only other known bidder for him, Philadelphia, may have been pushing seriously or may have been doing a favor for its former front-office mates."

https://theathletic.com/2321837/2021/01/14/james-harden-trade-nets-future/ (pay)
Can't imagine Philly would be short-sighted enough to let their 2nd best player's name get dragged through trade rumors if they weren't actually interested in the deal. Would be nice to get reporting from Houston's perspective. Guessing we'll probably never really know the full story or what was truly on the table for Houston. It's possible that Philly's interest was lukewarm, Boston's was only at bargain pricing levels, and Houston didn't really have any other suitors beyond Brooklyn. Could have been a game of chicken all along.
 

nighthob

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Jul 15, 2005
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I think Houston's biggest choice was how much 'value' to seek in players vs picks. They clearly prioritized picks, and while there's a case for that I would have prioritized Simmons (e.g. an upper-level player).
And really low first round picks at that as three of the four are likely to be in the 25-30 range.
 

nighthob

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Jul 15, 2005
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I'm curious if Houston viewed that return as making them too good over the next couple of years. As Nighthob has pointed out (I think), with the picks they owe out, they kind of want to bottom out over the next couple of years to use their own picks and then get better in 3 seasons so they're not handing OKC top 10 picks every year. SImmons would make them probably a 40-45 win team over that period. They could try to trade Simmons, of course, but would he net anything close to what Harden just did? Prob not, so why not just get the picks now from what will be an old and inflexible Nets team.
If the price for Simmons were three low firsts, a future first with some variability, and a bunch of pick swaps with marginal value I expect that half the league would be in line for him.
 

Cellar-Door

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Aug 1, 2006
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If the price for Simmons were three low firsts, a future first with some variability, and a bunch of pick swaps with marginal value I expect that half the league would be in line for him.
Except as people have repeatedly pointed out.... that's not what they got.

You keep taking this wild assumption on where the Rockets and Nets will be and treating it as gospel.

We have no idea where either team will be more than 2 years down the road.

I mean, shit, the Warriors went from one of the best teams of all time to the #2 pick in the draft in 2 years, the Raptors went from a title contender to maybe not making the playoffs this year, the Cavs recently went from a 50+ win team to an under 20 win team.

You can't accurately project what players will move to new teams, or what players will have injuries in the NBA, and NBA GMs know that, which is why they never assume that a team will be the same 3,4, 5, 6, 7 years out and value the picks accordingly.

Edit- if anything, I can't think of a combination of 3 stars that seems less likely to stick together for 4-5 years than:
1. KD who left a WCF team to join a superteam, then quickly left the superteam because he didn't like that either
2. Harden who is constantly falling out with other stars, often ones he handpicked
3. Kyrie, who is Kyrie.