Originally written on Hoops Manifesto  |  Last updated 11/19/14
The big news in the NBA world (other than the season starting tonight - YIPPEE!!) is of course the Oklahoma City Thunder trading away one of their "Big Three" to the Houston Rockets.  When James Harden and the Thunder ended up being a measly (relatively speaking) $6 million over four years apart contract negotiations, OKC thought they better ship The Bearded One out to Houston before he could bolt for nothing next offseason.   But the thing that has made my ears perk up over this trade is Houston GM Daryl Morey calling his new acquisition a "foundational player".  A player that the Rockets can build a championship team around.  Am I missing something here?  We're talking about James Harden, right?! Now don't get me wrong - Harden is a very nice player.  He can score without trying to force it.  He can set up teammates.  He's versatile enough to play both backcourt positions.  But James Harden is in no way a franchise player.  Hell - he was only considered the third-best player on the Thunder (although I would argue he is better than Russell Westbrook).  But the main reason you don't build a team around Harden is he isn't the type of player you build a team around.  He's a complimentary player, not the star.  He hasn't shown to be a "take charge" type of player on offense - he prefers to defer to teammates (easy to do when you have Kevin Durant and Westbrook on your team) and subtly pick his spots.  His skillset just isn't that of a superstar player.  He's no LeBron James.  He's no Dwight Howard.  Or Kobe Bryant.  Or Kevin Durant.  Or Dirk Nowitzki. Or.... you get the point.  He just doesn't strike me as being anything more than the second or third star on a championship contending team.  Not just now - ever.Yes, he's still young and he has tons of potential, but normally once a guy has made it through three seasons in the League, we know what type of player he's going to be.  Most "franchise" or "foundational" players have already shown their spots by then.  A guy doesn't just become a super-duper star because you gave him a max contract and deemed him "THE MAN".  And make no mistake about it - you need a super-duper star if you are going to win a NBA title.  And the only thing super-duper about James Harden is his beard.   
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Masai Ujiri fires up Raptors fans with expletive

Andre Johnson: Signing with Colts not about revenge

Pete Rose joining FOX as baseball analyst

Josh Hamilton filed for divorce around time of relapse

Isaiah Thomas once peed himself to avoid subbing out

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: ESPN employees want Britt McHenry fired

WATCH: Raptors fans shower Paul Pierce with vulgar taunts

Report: Vikings want first-rounder, starting CB for Peterson

Report: Jarret Stoll arrested for possession of drugs

CJ Wilson: Josh Hamilton’s relapse a ‘tame scenario’

Head coaching candidates for the Denver Nuggets

Yordano Ventura ejected for plunking Brett Lawrie

Five early takeaways from the 2015 MLB season

WATCH: Female Cubs fan catches foul ball in beer cup, chugs it

WATCH: Cardale Jones throws ball 74 yards during contest

Shaka Smart was quite popular at the Texas spring game

Ohio State sets spring game attendance record

WATCH: Bubba Watson raps on Christian rap track

WATCH: Jags mascot wins closest to pin at Sawgrass

Notre Dame wears 'Father Ted' patches during spring game

Five things to watch during the NBA Playoffs

Hanley Ramirez put hole in Green Monster during BP

WATCH: A-Rod belts two homers in win over Rays

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Josh Hamilton filed for divorce from wife

Report: McHenry's coworkers want her fired

WATCH: Raptors fans taunt Paul Pierce

Five things to watch in NBA Playoffs

Report: Jarret Stoll busted for drugs

CJ Wilson: Hamilton is 'ready to go'

Leaked Clippers jersey redesigns

Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase preview

Home runs ruined our ability to appreciate production

Why we love the NFL draft

The "worst" player on each NBA playoff team

Jim Harbaugh showed up at Ultimate Frisbee practice

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.