Why the Houston Rockets are the Biggest Winners of the James Harden Trade

Mark Henry — Why the Houston Rockets are the Biggest Winners of the James Harden Trade
Mark Henry has enjoyed the publicity of the James Harden trade.

My opinion on the James Harden trade and why the Houston Rockets are the biggest winners:

OPINION — The biggest trade we’ll probably see this NBA Season has just occurred. The blockbuster four-team trade that featured the disgruntled Mark Henry, I'm sorry, I meant James Harden, sent shockwaves throughout the world as everyone has an opinion as to who won this trade. Most believe that the Nets are the biggest winners of this deal.

I’m here to tell you that couldn’t be further from the truth. When we look back on this trade, the Nets could in fact be the biggest losers of this deal. When we look back on this trade five years from now, the biggest winners may end up being the Houston Rockets. In this article we’ll take a look at why Houston ridding themselves of Mark Henry, I mean James Harden, (Sorry I don’t know why this keeps happening) is the biggest win of them all, out of all four teams involved in this deal.

James Harden — Why the Houston Rockets are the Biggest Winners of the James Harden Trade
James “Mark Henry” Harden will soon be the Brooklyn Nets Problem.

James Harden is an Overrated NBA Star:

For someone like James Harden to have the nerve to call out his former teammates and team before being traded, the way he did, is unacceptable, especially for a player of his overrated caliber.

The man that is out of shape plays no defense, and looks like a slob out on the basketball court in 2020, had the nerve to suggest his former team (the Rockets) aren’t good enough. No, James Harden, you are overrated, out of shape, no defense playing, bad leader, and bad teammate self is not good enough.

Countless bridges have been burned under your watch. The Rockets have vastly underachieved in your nine seasons with the squad. You couldn’t win with Chris Paul, and you couldn’t win with Russell Westbrook.

The Nets gave up an unbelievable amount of assets to acquire your undesirable attitude, leadership, work ethic, and declining production. It won't be long before the Nets realize their blunder and that they traded for a glorified shape version of Jamal Crawford.

Never in the history of the NBA has a player like James Harden, been lauded for countless underwhelming playoff showings, a run-in with teammates, being a diva, exhibiting bad leadership, choking, horrendous defense, being out of shape, and being a ball stopping guard that is difficult to implement into any system.

Congratulations Houston. You no longer have a problem. James Harden’s track record has proven he will inevitably be a problem for the Brooklyn Nets.

Victor Oladipo — Why the Houston Rockets are the Biggest Winners of the James Harden Trade
Whether he stays or not after this Season, Oladipo will come in and immediately boost the morale of the team.

Victor Oladipo and the future:

If James Harden is the standard from what you don’t want in your supposed franchise player, then Victor Oladipo is the antithesis to that.

In Oladipo, the Rockets get a hard-working player that competes on both ends of the floor, can adjust his game on the offensive end, is versatile, efficient, younger, and for all accounts a better player than James Harden. That’s right.

Barring injury, this will prove to be a steal for the Houston Rockets. They just landed someone, who, if healthy, will be better for Houston than Harden was this season. Adding Oladipo to the team now gives the Rockets the option to let John Wall be the primary ball handler (like a Point Guard is supposed to be).

Oladipo can play off-ball or on the ball, which makes him a much better fit for the Rockets. On the defensive side of the ball, Oladipo uses his quick feet and active hands to limit penetration, which will help the Rockets' big-men stay out of foul trouble.

Oladipo is also a great passer and playmaker. The one downside to Oladipo will be seeing if he can stay healthy. If he does stay healthy, the Rockets just improved their team dramatically. They also get four future 1st round picks to more than make up for the assets they gave up in the Russell Westbrook trade. Additionally, the Rockets get four future draft pick swaps. The youth movement is on, and with a new young head coach, a bevy of future 1st Round Draft Picks, and an incoming younger Star (Oladipo) the future of this team is bright.

Christian Wood — Why the Houston Rockets are the Biggest Winners of the James Harden Trade
Christian Wood is a rising star for the Rockets.

Christian Wood:

The Rockets have a developing young Star in Christian Wood on a bargain 3 year $41 Million Contract. Wood is still only 25 years old and is looking like a legitimate go-to guy. His post moves, and outside shot, make him a versatile Offensive threat. Not to mention he also can take defenders off the dribble to finish at the basket. Yes, many young talented players on the roster will get a chance to grow and shine now that the high usage Harden is gone, but Wood is arguably the biggest beneficiary of the trade.

Eric Gordon — Why the Houston Rockets are the Biggest Winners of the James Harden Trade
Eric Gordon is a valuable veteran presence that can score buckets off the bench.

Eric Gordon and the depth off the bench:

Many people have seemed to forget that Eric Gordon is still on the roster and is one of the better 6th men in the NBA. His ability to score 20 or more on any given night off the bench is highly valuable. It also sets the tone for the other young players like the incoming Dante Exum, the underrated Rodions Kurucs, Sterling Brown, and Ben McLemore. With a soon-to-be solid Starting Line-up with the incoming Oladipo and a mixture of veteran and young depth, this trade isn’t so bad at all for Houston.

Bottom Line:

Whether Victor Oladipo stays with Houston or not, this trade is a huge win for the Rockets. It doesn’t get them any closer to a Championship, but there wasn’t a trade out there that would’ve made them a Championship contender anyways. For that reason, the next best thing is just to start a youth movement while still being competitive. This isn’t a huge loss at all for Houston. At the end of the day the goal is to eventually win a Championship and the Rockets never even got to one with Harden. Harden’s nine seasons with the Rockets led to six Seasons being knocked out of the First or Second Round of the playoffs. The Rockets can accomplish that kind of mediocrity without a diva-like Harden.

Now is the time for the reboot to be embraced for Houston and understand that they haven’t lost much. With Oladipo, even if he does just stay for one year, the Rockets will compete and make a run for the playoffs. They can even surprise some people this year if the team can stay healthy. The results of this trade won’t be final for Houston for at least four years, so it’s hard for most to see how this is a win for them. By contrast, the pressure is on for Harden to make things work with the Nets right away. I'm betting the Nets won’t even come close to a Championship with Harden, and buying on this trade looking great in the future for Houston.

Jeffrey Genao is a Writer and Contributor for Basketball University. You can read more of his content at https://officialbballuniversity.com/

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Jeffrey Genao

Jeffrey Genao

A passionate sports blogger, writer, and big-time foody. Sports and food are life.