Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 10/27/12
After coming so close in last season's NBA Finals, the Oklahoma City Thunder aren't ready to start the new season by merely maintaining the status quo. That's why it's not all that surprising that, in an attempt to make an already strong returning team even stronger, the Thunder pulled off a nine-player deal late Saturday with the Houston Rockets, multiple sources reported. The biggest stars of the deal were forward James Harden, who goes to the Rockets, and Kevin Martin and Jeremy Lamb are the highlight players that go from Houston up the road to Oklahoma City. Oklahoma City also sent Cole Aldrich and forwards Daequan Cook and Lazar Hayward to the Rockets. In return, the Rockets also sent the Thunder three draft picks, completing the huge nine-player deal. Harden, who was a member of the U.S. Olympic team that won a gold medal in this summer's London Olympics, averaged nearly 17 points and over 4 rebounds per game last season. He had been seeking a large contract extension from the Thunder, who had already doled out big long-term deals to stars Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka. But that will not be the case for Harden now, who will be left to negotiate a new long-term deal with his new team. In a statement announcing the deal, Thunder general manager Sam Presti said the trade made great sense for both teams. "We wanted to sign James to an extension, but at the end of the day, these situations have to work for all those involved," Presti said. "Our ownership group again showed their commitment to the organization with several significant offers. "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."
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: K-State players storm student section after big win

Tony Dungy coaches his way into Canton

Top eight takeaways from NFL Honors awards

Report: Austin Rivers out 4-6 weeks with broken hand

Brett Favre Hall of Fame discussion took less than 10 seconds

WATCH: Pop wishes Kobe well in heartfelt message

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Eric Berry named NFL Comeback Player of the Year

Cam Newton to be named NFL MVP

Ezekiel Elliott hung out with Jim Brown

Rickie Fowler taunted by fans over his ex-girlfriend

Roger Goodell speaks about future of Pro Bowl in annual address

Mike Krzyzewski provides an update on his health

Another star confirmed for Super Bowl 50 halftime show

WATCH: Wayne Simmonds loses his cool, earns match penalty

Winners and losers from 2016 Hall of Fame vote

Brett Favre, Tony Dungy headline Hall of Fame Class of 2016

Terrell Owens says he was not elected to Hall of Fame

Bruins prospect hit in throat with puck, taken to hospital

WATCH: Mavs rookie laughed at for trash talking Spurs bench

Norris Cole has No. 30 retired with LeBron James, New Orleans Pelicans in attendance

Three keys to victory for the Broncos in Super Bowl 50

Torrey Smith: ‘This is probably the best offense’ for Kaepernick

Byron Scott thought D’Angelo Russell would be further along

Under-the-radar Super Bowl 50 matchups

Is Tim Lincecum's run with the San Francisco Giants done?

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

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

The top six matchups that could decide Super Bowl 50

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

10 underrated performances in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

X-factors in Super Bowl 50

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in playoff hunt

QUIZ: Name the Super Bowl halftime performers since 1991

Manziel's father fears for QB's life

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker