Top 7 Reasons Why The Thunder Shouldn’t Have Traded James Harden
James Harden: Why The Thunder Shouldn't Have Traded Him
After being unable to extend guard James Harden, theOklahoma City Thunder traded Harden to the Houston Rockets in a multi-player deal. The deal included Cole Aldrich, Lazar Hayward, and Daequan Cook also going to Houston in exchange for Kevin Martin, rookie Jeremy Lamb, and future draft picks.
Sam Presti on the matter, “We wanted to sign James to an extension, but at the end of the day, these situations have to work for all those involved. Our ownership group again showed their commitment to the organization with several significant offers,” Presti said. “We were unable to reach a mutual agreement, and therefore executed a trade that capitalized on the opportunity to bring in a player of Kevin’s caliber, a young talent like Jeremy and draft picks, which will be important to our organizational goal of a sustainable team. We appreciate James, Cole, Daequan and Lazar’s contributions to the Thunder organization and this community and wish them the best in the future.”
Days later, Harden signed a big extension for 5 year, $80 million to stay in Houston for the future. That night Harden goes for 40 points against the Detroit Pistons. Next night, he travels to Atlanta and goes for 45 more points. Harden was the first player to have at least 106 points, 19 rebounds and 19 assists in his team’s first three games of a season since Michael Jordan in the 1989-90 season. How about this stat: Last year in Oklahoma City, Harden averaged nearly 35 points per 40 minutes when he was not sharing the floor with Kevin Durant.
And then the questions start to ponder around Thunder fans, wondering if this trade was bad for Sam Presti and the Thunder. The answer: Yes.
Here are the top 7 reasons why this trade was a bad deal for the front office and team in Oklahoma City.
The Loss of the Third Option
Late in games, when Durant or Westbrook would have a poor shooting night, Scott Brooks would put the ball in the hands of number 13. Harden did it against San Antonio to win Game 5 of the Western Conference Finalsand did it against the Mavs in 2011's WCF . Now, there is no number 13.
It will be eagar to see if Kevin Martin can be that third option, and fit into the role James Harden played.
Cole Adrich is Gone
Included in the trade was the for sure backup center for this year, Cole Aldrich. After warming the bench and throwing up the 3 signs for three years, it was his time to actually play with the loss of Nazr Mohammed to Chicago.
Hasheem Thabeet Will Now Have To Step Up
Now with Aldrich gone, Hasheem Thabeet will have to step into the rotation and produce. As much as I hate to say it, he isn't a proven player in this league quite yet. Thabeet will have to come in replace for Kendrick Perkins and really do a produce job.
Nick Collison Has No Sidekick
It was becoming an unstoppable feature that the Thunder always used when the bench mob came in. The Harden and Collison dribble hand-off. I think Collison is really going to miss Harden because Harden made other players better and a pure example of that was Collison. Now with Harden gone, Collison will have to take on more of the scoring role for the bench.
Eric Maynor Now Has No Backcourt Mate
After missing most of last year, Eric Maynor made his return this year. It’s already evident that he needs someone on his side to help out with the ball handling and scoring load. With number 13 gone, Maynor will have to take control of the offense without a guy who can score the ball at will.
No More "Knockdown Shooter"
Aren’t you going to miss saying, “DC for threeee”? Cause I will. Although he didn’t play too much at the end of the year last year, Cook had the ability to really stretch the floor for the Thunder offense. Now he in Houston and the Thunder will need a guy who can space the floor with his ability to stroke the ball.
Presti Adds Youth Instead Of Veterans
In the offseason, the Thunder lost locker room voices and veterans Nazr Mohammed, Derek Fisher, and Royal Ivey. With the addition of Perry Jones III in the draft and Jeremy Lamb in the trade, Sam Presti added youth instead of experience, leadership, and a guy whose “been there and done that.”