Found October 27, 2012 on
Fox Sports Southwest:
Oklahoma City Thunder
Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Clippers
Oklahoma City general manager Sam Presti couldn't wait. The new NBA collective bargaining agreement wouldn't let him.
In a bold move that several franchises shied away from in recent years, Presti traded away an Olympian who potentially might have been the most coveted free agent on the market next summer. Presti dealt Harden, along with center Cole Aldrich and forwards Daequan Cook and Lazar Hayward, to the Houston Rockets for guards Kevin Martin and Jeremy Lamb, two first round picks and a second rounder.
Harden, the reigning Sixth Man of the Year, was an integral part of the Thunder's run to the Western Conference title and the NBA Finals last season. The 23-year-old former third overall pick was seen as part of Oklahoma City's long-term program alongside All-Stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, and the rapidly-improving Serge Ibaka.
Instead, Harden begins his fourth season with arguably one of the worst teams in the West. The decision to move the bearded guard comes down to finances and the financial health of Oklahoma City in years to come.
Harden and the Thunder had come to a stalemate with a Wednesday deadline looming on a contract extension. Harden's camp was pushing for a four-year maximum deal worth 60 million, according to reports. Oklahoma City was said to be offering a deal in the 52 million range.
Instead of continuing to negotiate, Presti pulled the trigger that Cleveland and Toronto couldn't two summers ago. Rather than potentially let Harden walk, as LeBron James and Chris Bosh essentially did in 2010, Oklahoma City opted for value now.
"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 in a statement released by the team.
"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."
The new CBA harshly penalizes teams above the luxury tax threshold in years to come. The Los Lakers have already admitted to being strapped cap-wise down the line with the acquisitions of Dwight Howard and Steve Nash. Super teams are going to feel the new CBA crunch soon enough.
Presti has long preached the ideal of building a sustainable economic and competitive model in OKC based on intelligent drafting, trades and signings. The Harden deal illustrates as much in a bold move on the eve of the NBA season.
While moving such an important piece might not seem prudent from a basketball standpoint with the season opening Thursday at San Antonio, Presti is looking ahead and making sure the Thunder remain in position to compete for another West title.
As a GM, he's done a nearly flawless job turning the lottery team he had in Seattle into a bona-fide contender. And this isn't Presti's first blockbuster. He's already moved Ray Allen, Jeff Green and now Harden. (Green was once thought to be as big a part of the Thunder's future as Durant and Westbrook.)
Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks is going to have to do some juggling with the rotation and inside the locker room. Losing a nearly 17-point scorer who won gold in London with Durant and Westbrook is not ideal at the end of preseason. Brooks is a company man who does understand the bigger picture and will be able to adapt.
And bringing in Martin should help lessen the blow. The ninth-year veteran shooting guard has averaged 18.4 points for his career, and is entering the last year of his contract at 12.9 million. Martin is in for a one-year audition with one of the league's best teams, plus he should get plenty of open looks playing with his new All-Star teammates.
As for Houston, general manager Daryl Morey has a season to convince Harden on teaming with Jeremy Lin for years to come. The Rockets have a starting job and, more importantly, money to spend.
If that's not enough to entice Harden to stay, he can reach the open market and open up the bidding. If Chris Paul and Howard decide to stay in Los Angeles, with the Clippers and Lakers, respectively, Harden could be next summer's top prize.
The money is going to be there. It just won't come from Oklahoma City. Presti made sure of that.
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The Oklahoma City Thunder were unable to pay James Harden what he wanted so they traded him to the Houston Rockets.
Saturday night Harden along with center Cole Aldrich, guard Daequan Cook and forward Lazar Hayward were traded to the Rockets in exchange for guards Kevin Martin and Jeremy Lamb, two first round picks and a second round pick.
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Not sure who to credit for this top notch pumpkin carving, featuring the face of Oklahoma City Thunder star James Harden and the phrase "Fear the Beard".
If someone has the info, please pass it along, as we'd like to give them props. Photo via @BrianJMackey.
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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Second-year guard DeAndre Liggins won the final roster spot for the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday as the team waived Andy Rautins, Daniel Orton and Hollis Thompson.
The moves get the Thunder down to the 15-player limit for the regular season.
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In a trade first reported by Yahoo! Sports Adrian Wojnarowski, the former Marquette star is headed to Houston as part of a trade that will send Oklahoma Citys James Harden to the Rockets.
Along with Harden and Hayward, the Thunder will send forward Cole Aldridge and guard Daquan Cook to Houston...
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...
Earlier today, the Oklahoma City Thunder offered SG James Harden a 4-year, $52 million contract extension. James Harden declined this offer, but it was reported that both sides were still negotiating. A few hours later, the world learned that the Thunder organization shipped James Harden to the Houston Rockets. Details below:
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The Thunder lost an important piece that sent them to the NBA Finals last season on Saturday night.
Oklahoma City traded James Harden to Houston according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski. The Thunder received Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb and "significant future draft picks." Along with Harden, the Rockets received Cole Aldridge, Lazr Hayward and...
James Harden plans to sign a long-term extension with the Houston Rockets before the regular season begins.
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According to ESPN, and in a decently shocking move The Oklahoma City Thunder have traded James Harden to the Houston Rockets.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have traded James Harden, Daequan Cook, Lazar Hayward and Cole Aldrich to the Houston Rockets for Jeremy Lamb, Kevin Martin and future draft picks, a source told ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard.
Article found on: Cosby Sweaters
HOUSTON -- James Harden plans to sign a long-term extension with the Houston Rockets before the regular season begins.
The reigning Sixth Man of the Year joined his new team Sunday after he was traded to the Rockets from Oklahoma City late Saturday. The Thunder acquired guards Kevin Martin and Jeremy Lamb, two first-round picks and a second-round pick in the surprising...
The business side of the NBA can get pretty crazy, and I’ve been caught off guard by many a trade in the past… but I’m not sure any deal has ever taken me by surprise quite like the one that has just been orchestrated by the Oklahoma City Thunder, who have sent reigning Sixth Man of the Year James Harden (and his beard) to Houston in exchange for Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb,...
Recall when Kate Upton blew bubbles for Skullcandy? Well good God there's a video of the photoshoot (Houston Rocket James Harden and Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant tag along).
Full story at Bob's Blitz ~ http://www.bobsblitz.com
The Houston Rockets have traded Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb, and future draft picks for James Harden from the Oklahoma City Thunder.
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