The dominoes have fallen and James Harden gets what he wanted, as he was traded to the Brooklyn Nets as part of a four team deal. While we all know this gives the Nets more star power in their hunt for an NBA Championship, there are major implications for each team involved.
- NETS: While landing Harden makes them better now, they had to give up a lot of assets to do so. Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen both are very good young players with a ton of potential and Taurean Prince is a solid player off the bench. The amount of first round picks as well as pick swaps they gave up was outrageous. Four picks as well as three pick swaps over the next seven years essentially hands the Rockets their future in the draft. Just because they're loaded with talent now doesn't mean their top talent will all be there in three to four years, which could leave the Nets as bottom feeders for an entire decade with no avenue out since their draft picks will be heading to Houston. These next couple seasons could be make or break for the Nets to cash in on a Championship before this trio runs its course and guys are looking to move on to the next flavor of the week and team up with their new besties elsewhere.
- Rockets: Sitting at 3-6, the Rockets made this deal for the future. The amount of draft capital they acquired will give them flexibility when trying to acquire top level talent in upcoming seasons. While it will mostly be replenishing the lost draft picks from acquiring Westbrook, it is a step in the right direction for a team rebuilding. Getting Victor Oladipo allows them to stay somewhat competitive this season, while freeing up even more cap space when he becomes an UFA this off-season. If he's a good fit with John Wall they can re-sign him and if not, move on with their large amount of future cap space and draft picks.
- Pacers: Indiana made the most of their opportunity here as they have been looking to move on from Oladipo and his expiring contract. In return they got Caris LeVert whom they originally drafted in the 2016 Draft. LeVert is having one of his best seasons in the league averaging over 18 points and 6 assists per game. Now with the Pacers he can grow along side Malcom Brogdon, Myles Turner, and Damontas Sabonis. This young core could be an elite building block for the future and a trio that could take over the Eastern Conference in the next few years.
- Cavaliers: Picking up young center Jarrett Allen in this deal all but seals Andre Drummond's fate of being dealt by this year's trade deadline. It wouldn't make any sense to pull the trigger on this deal unless it was followed by Drummond and possibly Kevin Love being dealt. Both players have big contracts that could make things difficult but the Cavs are in rebuild mode and neither seem to fit into the team's future plans. Taurean Prince was a solid add as well, though they already have an abundance of young depth on the wings. The Cavaliers are a young team and by adding more young talent, they're banking on the fact that a few of them will develop into future stars, something the team hasn't had since Kyrie and LeBron left.
This trade appears to be a fit for each franchise and what they're trying to do going forward. It's hard to really judge any trade until a few years after the fact. When its all said and done we could be looking back and saying the Pacers were the real winners of this trade by acquiring future perennial All-Star Caris LeVert. Time will tell if this does happen but it could very easily play out this way.