NBA Trade Reaction : James Harden traded to Nets
We saw a four-team trade on Wednesday that involved James Harden moved to Brooklyn. James Grande is here to break it down and give us the fantasy implications.
The Best Drama Show on TV turned in an absolute masterpiece on Wednesday and the Houston Rockets, Brooklyn Nets, Cleveland Cavaliers and Indiana Pacers completed a four-team deal that was headlined with James Harden moving to Brooklyn to team up with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving .
The complete trade:
Sources: Full current trade:— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 13, 2021
Rockets: Victor Oladipo , Dante Exum , Rodions Kurucs , 3 BKN first-rounders (22, 24, 26), 1 MIL first (22, unprotected), 4 BKN 1st round swaps (21, 23, 25, 27)
Nets: James Harden
Pacers: Caris LeVert , 2nd-rounder
Cavs: Jarrett Allen , Taurean Prince
Harden moves onto a team with two superstars, both who like, want and need the ball in their hands. Who will be the one to defer? Who really even knows if one of them -- Kyrie Irving -- is interested in even playing basketball and when we’ll even see him again. In the immediate future, Harden and Durant both should be considered top-10 fantasy options in standard points or category leagues. We’ve seen plenty of duo’s i.e LeBron James and Anthony Davis co-exist and dominate in the fantasy world.
The kicker is when Kyrie Irving returns, what happens? Currently, all three guys have usage rates of 29% or higher and rank in the top-20 in the league in that category. Somebody will obviously defer to the others on any given night and hopefully that somebody is never Kevin Durant . Harden’s the most willing passer of the group and we could see him average a career-high in assists here. If I had to rank them for fantasy upside the remainder of the year I’d lead with Kevin Durant , followed by James Harden and Kyrie Irving is the least valuable of the three.
The rest of the deal was crazy as well, because Indiana swooped in and took Caris LeVert from Houston for Victor Oladipo who’s playing on an expiring contract aka an audition for Houston and honestly the rest of the league. LeVert fits in like a glove in Indiana with their young nucleus of players, but similarly to his status in Brooklyn, he’ll be third fiddle in IND behind Malcolm Brogdon and Domantas Sabonis .
Two underrated moving parts of this mega deal were Victor Oladipo heading to Houston and Jarrett Allen going to Cleveland. Oladipo now will be playing alongside two usage machines in John Wall and Christian Wood . Oladipo will get his as evidenced by his 26.7% USG rate, but how much will he have taken away playing next to Wall. I suspect not much and in fact, I think this is a slight bump in terms of his fantasy prospects for the remainder of the year.
The only way this Allen piece of the puzzle makes sense is if Andre Drummond is eventually flipped, because if he isn’t, what is Cleveland doing? Maybe they know there are teams interested in Allen and he’s going to be traded again, but these two guys aren’t exactly complementary to one another and this is a front court that already has Larry Nance and will eventually get Kevin Love back as well. This team isn’t done making moves, because as long as Allen is in the same front-court as Drummond, his fantasy value is absolutely depleted and is droppable in all formats.