Originally written on 5TH QUARTER MAGAZINE  |  Last updated 11/15/14
The Oklahoma City Thunder have traded away a huge piece of their young core as they sent shooting guard James Harden to the Houston Rockets. The Thunder were trying to sign Harden to a contract extension, but when talks fell through they decided to ship away their young guard. The Thunder also gave up Daequan Cook, Lazar Hayward and Cole Aldrich only to receive Kevin Martin and rookie Jeremy Lamb in return. Although Harden’s future was unclear in OKC, the trade doesn’t seem to make much sense for the Thunder. Harden was regularly considered one of the top 6th men in the league and they gave up a lot of players for one good player and a rookie. Martin is definitely a good scorer, but when you already have Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, scoring isn’t exactly a priority. The Rockets, on the other hand, were definitely the big winners in this trade. Houston has been adding a ton of young talent to their roster after a successful draft and adding Jeremy Lin in the offseason. Harden should be able to come in and be a spark plug for the team and can also be a leader to some of the less experienced players.
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