The James Harden saga is over.
Harden will reportedly swap Rockets for Nets in a mega-trade, reunite with Kevin Durant and team up with Kyrie Irving.
The 76ers were reportedly frontrunners to hand out the former NBA MVP to City of Brotherly Love, but Daryl Morey refused to part with franchise supporter Ben Simmons and others.
Instead, the Nets reportedly sent Caris LeVert – later traded to the Pacers when Victor Oladipo was handed over to the Rockets – and four draft first rounds plus four pick swaps to Houston in a deal that also involved the Cavaliers.
The Nets also abandoned the Taurean Prince and talented center Jarrett Allen, who was sent to the Cavaliers, and the rocket-bound forward Rodions Kurucs.
It puts an end to a messy divorce between Harden and the Rockets after the disgruntled eight-time All-Star made no secret of his desire to travel as his frustrations boiled over aftermath on Tuesday and sparked criticism from teammates John Wall and DeMarcus Fætre .
Attention is now turning to Brooklyn’s new super team and how Harden fits in with Durant and Irving – if and when he returns from his personal absence – in first year head coach Steve Nash’s quest to deliver a championship to the Nets.
Harden, who is keeping an eye on a virgin NBA title, had called Houston home since 2012 and guided the Rockets to two Western Conference Finals and three semifinal appearances following his acquisition from the Thunder.
The 31-year-old sniper, teammates with Durant on the Thunder between 2009 and 2012, brings a large volume of 3-point and free-throw attempts to Brooklyn, not to mention a dominant goal scorer that Net has rarely had.
Harden attempted the most 3-pointers in 2019-20 with 843, and he also topped the category for free-throw attempts at 800. Prince topped Brooklyn’s 3PA list with 431, while Spencer Dinwiddie stepped to the line at 446 occasions.
In terms of individual seasons averaging 30.0 plus points, Harden has three seasons while Durant has two. Netene? 0. John Williamson’s highest of 29.5 points per. Match in 1977-78 (in only 33 games) is closest.
In each of the last three seasons heading into the 2020-21 campaign, Harden had earned the NBA-scoring title. Durant has claimed four honors compared to the Nets’ all-time pull of 0 after Keith Van Horn finished fifth in 1998-99. Harden and Durant have won seven of the last 11 scoring crowns.
Harden brings a resume with many wins and after seasonal experience, just like Irving and Durant as former NBA champions with the Cavaliers and Warriors respectively. The Nets have lost in the first round in back-to-back seasons, while they have not been in the finals since 2003.
Harden boasts a team wind percentage of 64.9 in regular season games, where he has played while collecting a total of 128 playoffs.
The issue of Harden signing for Nets is centered on possession and distribution, as he, Durant and Irving are ball carriers.
Looking at the highest usage percentage – an estimate of the percentage of team play used by a player while on the floor – since 2014-15 to get an idea of how the Nets could make it work with the trio, and Harden (second, 35.3 percent), Durant (eighth, 29.6 percent) and Irving (ninth, 29.4 percent) are in the top 10. The NBA average is 20.0 percent.
In 2019-20, points scored by Harden and points scored by his assists averaged 52.4 per game. Match. It followed 53.9 in 2018-19, 51.3 in 2017-18 and 56 last season.
It marked four consecutive seasons with 50 plus points per game. Created match that tied Oscar Robertson (1963-64 to 1966-67) for the longest streak in NBA history.
Harden averaged 34.3 points, 7.5 assists and 6.6 rebounds per game. Regular season for the Rockets, who lost in the Western Conference semifinals at the Walt Disney World Resort in 2019-20.