Blockbuster Trade in NBA


Anthony Ford, Athletics Editor

The NBA’s Brooklyn Nets have traded for Rockets star guard James Harden. This trade now pairs three top ten players in the NBA this season. The big three tandem of Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and James Harden is set to shake up the Eastern conference as Brooklyn has jumped up to second in Vegas betting odds to come out on top and win the NBA championship. The trade, though, included three teams, the Rockets, Nets, and the Indiana Pacers were all involved. Houston received: Victor Oladipo, Rodions Kurucs, Dante Exum, four unprotected first-round picks,(from Brooklin in 2022, 2024, and 2026 and an additional first-round pick in 2022), and four unprotected first-round pick swaps (2021, 2023, 2025, 2027). The Nets received solely James Harden. And the Pacers received: Caris LeVert, 2023 second-round pick (from Houston).

Kenneth Fladger, senior, has fairly mixed emotions about the trade, with him being a Los Angeles Lakers fan, and watching his team come out on top during last year’s “bubble” playoffs in Florida.

“For me, I am kind of flattered honestly, I mean for KD and Kyrie to realize that they are going to need another superstar in order to compete with us for a championship, that says a lot. I am sure that they will make it out of the Eastern Conference but I highly doubt that they have the defenders to keep up with our deep team who has given plenty of teams struggles on the defensive and offensive side of the ball. We have about six guys on our team who can give you 20 points on any given night but the main focal point of this team is how well we defend. And when we are playing defense, that creates even more opportunities for our offense.”

Fladger hit it spot on, the Nets’ biggest concern after the trade is going to be their defensive capability and the depth on the floor while their superstars need rest. In their first game playing together as a big three, Brooklyn matched up against the worst offensive rated team in the NBA this season, the Cleveland Cavaliers.

This seemed to be an easy warm-up game for the tandem, but to the surprise of many, Cleveland came out firing, and not once did they back down against the Nets. The game went to DOUBLE overtime, and the Cavaliers ended up taking the win scoring nearly 150 points. The final score was 147-135, with Cavs guard Colin Sexton dropping an astonishing 42 points to propel his team to victory.

There is still a lot of season left to play, though, and there is no telling where this Nets team is going to end up come playoff time, but the main hope around the league from fans is that Kevin Durant and Brooklyn match up against LeBron James and the defending champion Lakers to wrap up the NBA playoffs.