For the most part, fans who look back at the memorable trade between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets will just remember the fact that James Harden was moved. After beginning his career with the Thunder, Oklahoma City couldn’t come to terms on a contract extension with Harden and opted to send him to the Rockets.
While Harden was the obvious centrepiece of the deal, there were a number of other pieces in the trade as well, including two first-round picks which went to the Thunder. As ESPN detailed, the deal involved six players including Harden, along with three total draft picks.
- Rockets received: James Harden, Cole Aldrich, Daequan Cook, Lazar Hayward
- Thunder received: Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb, two first-round picks, one second-round pick
On the surface, the trade certainly doesn’t look great for the Thunder, even when considering they couldn’t keep each of their top players in Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka and Harden at the time. With that said, we’re going to take a look at what positive did come out of that trade for the Thunder.
Who the Draft Picks in James Harden Trade Turned Into
The two first-round picks which Houston sent to Oklahoma City were in 2013 and 2014, with the first becoming their current starting center in Steven Adams. The Thunder selected Adams at No. 12 overall, which turned out to be a solid addition, although it’s worth noting that Giannis Antetokounmpo was selected just three spots later.
Unfortunately, the second first-round pick didn’t pan out quite as well. This was used to select Mitch McGary out of Michigan at No. 21, and Clint Capela was picked by Houston four picks after. The Thunder had their own first-round pick still as well, taking Josh Huestis at No. 29 overall.
As far as the second-round pick which Houston sent away, the Thunder picked Alex Abrines, who was released earlier this season due to personal issues, per ESPN.
Additions of Kevin Martin & Jeremy Lamb for Thunder
Martin, who was a first-round pick in the 2004 NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings, played just one season for the Thunder, averaging 14.0 points over 27.7 minutes per game. He shot 45.0 percent from the field but proceeded to head to the Minnesota Timberwolves prior to the 2013-14 season in another trade.
Martin was a part of a three-team deal with the Timberwolves, Thunder and Milwaukee Bucks in which Oklahoma City received the draft rights to Szymon Szewczyk, per the league.
As for Lamb, he spent three seasons with the Thunder, with his best year coming in 2013-14 when he averaged 8.5 points and 2.4 rebounds over 19.7 minutes per game. But the Thunder opted to make another deal, sending Lamb to the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for Luke Ridnour and a 2016 second-round pick, as Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman revealed.
While neither player planned out for the Thunder, the franchise looks quite a bit different than when Harden was previously there. Kevin Durant left for the Golden State Warriors, Serge Ibaka was traded and the team brought in Paul George.