The Houston Rockets are sending James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets in a blockbuster trade that will bring Victor Oladipo to the Rockets, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium. Caris LeVert is heading to the Indiana Pacers.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are also involved in this massive trade, with Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince heading there from Brooklyn. Dante Exum and Rodions Kurucs are also going to the Rockets, along with a bunch of first-round picks and pick swaps.
Here's the full blockbuster deal highlighted by James Harden and Victor Oladipo:
Sources: Full current trade:
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
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 13, 2021
Harden trade conversations ramped up in recent days, and everything came to a head when the superstar shooting guard effectively made his trade request public on Tuesday night after an ugly loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. The Nets and Philadelphia 76ers were reportedly the two finalists for Harden's services, with the Rockets reportedly pushing for Ben Simmons and Tyrese Maxey as the headliners in a potential deal involving Philly.
But that didn't come to fruition, so Harden is going to Brooklyn, which is reportedly where he wanted to go all along. The real shocker is the Pacers getting involved by sending Victor Oladipo to the Rockets for Caris LeVert, who initially appeared to be the stud headed for Houston.
There were trade rumors swirling around Oladipo for a while over the last year, but he tried to shut all that talk down heading into this season. While he has looked more like himself this season after he struggled coming off a devastating knee injury in 2019-20, his 2021 free agency clearly weighed on the minds of Indiana in these trade talks. Instead of possibly losing the star shooting guard for nothing in the offseason, the Pacers jumped in this trade and got a younger player in LeVert who's under contract for two more seasons after this one at about $18 million annually.
A big question is if the Rockets plan to keep Victor Oladipo and try to re-sign him this offseason, or if they wind up looking to flip him. Houston is 3-6 to start the season, but the team may want to see how he looks playing alongside John Wall, Christian Wood and DeMarcus Cousins.