It has just been announced that last year’s sixth man of the year, James Harden, has been traded to the Houston Rockets. Harden will be sent to Houston for Kevin Martin, rookie Jeremy Lamb, two first-round picks and a second-round pick. The Thunder are also sending center Cole Aldrich and guards Daequan Cook and Lazar Hayward to the Rockets,” reports Oklahoma City Thunder beat reporter, Darnell Mayberry. The picks traded belong to the Toronto Raptors, Dallas Mavericks, and Charlotte Bobcats, and are all protected.
This is obviously a HUGE shakeup for fantasy basketball draft boards, as Kevin Martin was Houston’s main scorer, and Harden was the #3 option in Oklahoma City. With Harden all but guaranteed the starting shooting guard spot in Houston, “The Beard’s” fantasy value increases tremendously. Harden will be the focal point of the offense every night, and he has the ability to put up 25-30 points a night in a offense-starved Rockets’ roster.
Looking a little to the north of Houston, the Thunder acquire two scoring-first shooting guards along with draft picks to help fill the void of points off of the bench. While the veteran Martin has had issues staying healthy in his career, he can go off just as much as Harden on any given night. As for Jeremy Lamb, his potential is just as much as Harden. However, it will be hard to rely on either of them in fantasy – at least early on in the season.
All in all, James Harden’s value steps up miraculously with this trade, and anything to do with Lamb or Martin remains to be seen.