The Oklahoma City Thunder threw NBA fans quite the curveball when they decided to trade last year’s Sixth Man of the Year James Harden to the Houston Rockets instead of paying him the type of contract he was looking for–mainly because the triple threat of Harden, Kevin Durant, and Russell Westbrook was one of the best in the league. Harden made his debut with the Rockets on Wednesday and if his first performance with his new team is any indication of what to expect for the remainder of the season–the Thunder may end up regretting their decision to trade one of their superstars.
Harden couldn’t have asked for a better debut with Houston as he scored 37 points to go along with six rebounds, 12 assists, and four steals as the Rockets went on to beat the Detroit Pistons 105-96. What makes this performance even sweeter for Harden–he was rewarded with a five-year, $80 million extension on Wednesday as well.
It’s understandable for Oklahoma City to ship Harden off before he became a free agent next summer, but they should have thought twice about this type of move considering how close they were to winning the NBA Finals last season. As a member of the Thunder, Harden was a starter stuck in the role of coming off the bench and now that he’s receiving an opportunity to shine in the starting lineup with the Rockets–he appears determined to prove his former organization wrong and make them realize what a huge mistake they made.
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