Nets land: James Harden, 2nd round pick Rockets land: Victor Oladipo, Dante Exum, Rodions Kurucs, and 4 1st round picks and 4 pick swaps (all from Nets) Pacers land: Caris LeVert, 2nd round pick Cavs land: Jarrett Allen, Taurean Prince
(Courtesy of @clutchsportsapp on Twitter)
Let's start with the easy stuff:
Pacers: I am a Pacers fan and I love this trade for the Pacers. Oladipo is on an expiring deal and has wanted out for quite some time. Levert is a very good young player, and if he is not as good as Dipo yet, he is close. The Pacers are Sabonis and Brogdan's team now and LeVert's scoring will make their starting 5 even more formidable.
Grade for Pacers: A-
Cavs: All they gave up was a 2022 Bucks pick that will be very low. They got Allen and Prince. How good are these players? Hard to tell, but better than whoever they would draft at the end of the first round next year. Allen provides rebounding and some rim protection, which is never a bad thing.
Grade for Cavs: B
Nets: The Nets obviously got better. Despite all of the drama and the poor attitudes, the Nets are markedly better. The NBA is a talent league and, oh my, are they talented. They currently roster three future hall of famers, two of which are top 5 offensive players in the history of the league. Do me a favor and write down all of your concerns about "fit" on 2-ply Charmin so I have backup in case I run out. How on Earth do you guard this team?
There are most certainly concerns regarding health and depth, but I remind you that Harden is one of the most consistent and durable players in the league. They can now absorb KD or Kyrie missing some games and still win. Sure, there is a chance this all goes poorly, but at the end of the day, they are much more likely to win a championship this year than they were yesterday. They are playing to win now and have pushed all of their chips in the middle, good for them. I will make one last note, picks mean very little to free agent destinations. They have Harden for a few years and can lock up KD to go along with being in Brooklyn. Free agents will want to play here.
Grade for Nets: A
Rockets: The Rockets have positioned themselves for the future while maintaining an intriguing roster for the current. Their hand had been forced for months, but their patience certainly paid off. They can see how Oladipo works out and either sign him or flip him. They have 4 first round picks from a team that is two injuries (or leave of absences) away from the lottery. On the other hand, they have four first round picks from a team that, if healthy, is a juggernaut for years to come and will be selecting in the very bottom of the draft. Where will these picks land? Who knows. Will any of the swaps even get used? Who knows. But no matter what they remain assets to either use or trade for nearly the next decade. Not to mention they currently can start: Wall, Oladipo, Gordon, Wood (stud), Cousins, which is far from shabby. Losing Harden hurts, there is no way around it, but they made the most of a difficult situation.
Grade for Rockets: A-
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