If there was a bad part of the James Harden trade for the Brooklyn Nets, It would have to be them having to part ways with their sixth man Caris LeVert. Caris was traded to the Houston Rockets in a trade that landed James Harden in Brooklyn with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
Caris LeVert Traded to Pacers
Moments later he was traded to the Indiana Pacers in a deal that sent two-time all-star Victor Oladipo to the Rockets. Caris spent four years in Brooklyn and is a young star on the rise. Players around the league like all-star point guard Damian Lillard know it. “I think he gone take off now,” Dame tweeted in response to a fan who asked his opinion on the trade.
I think he gone take off now https://t.co/kqWiBZcAKA
— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) January 13, 2021
The full terms of the blockbuster trade include Brooklyn receiving James Harden, Rockets receive Victor Oladipo, Dante Exum, Rodions Kurucs, Three Nets first-rounders (22, 24, 26), One Bucks first (22, unprotected), and four Nets first-round swaps (21, 23, 25, 27), Pacers get Caris LeVert, and a second-rounder while the Cavs get Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince.
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Just last week Caris dropped 43 points against the Grizzlies and joined Vince Carter and Sam Cassell in the Nets history books. Now he’s not on the team. Caris was averaging 18.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 6.0 assists per game. The saving grace for many of Brooklyn’s wins this season was Caris headlining that second unit. Especially with Spencer Dinwiddie, Kyrie and KD all missing multiple games. With Caris gone, Brooklyn’s depth isn’t as much of a threat as it was when the season began.
Nets Gave up a Lot to Get Harden
The Brooklyn Nets had to give up a bunch of assets to acquire James Harden. The cost is high when you are trying to get a player of his caliber. But now the pressure is on for Brooklyn as it is championship or bust for the Nets. The Nets sold a good chunk of their future to get the 2018 Most Valuable Player, because if you have an opportunity to win now you always take that chance. Sean Marks and the Nets did that. Durant and Harden are reunited in Brooklyn, and whenever Kyrie Irving decides to enter the mix, stopping them will be a tall task for the rest of the NBA.
Kevin Durant Lights It up Again
Amongst all of the drama, the Nets played a game on Wednesday against their crosstown rivals the New York Knicks. KD continues to light it up finishing the night with 26 points and setting a Nets franchise record for consecutive 20-point games as it is his ninth straight. It was KD’s first back to back since having surgery on his Achilles. Steve Nash was impressed by his star forward.
“He looked pretty good to me,” head coach Steve Nash told reporters after the win. “He got to his spots. Continues to find his rhythm and made plays for his teammates. Like I said before the season, I think it’s 15-20 games minimum for him to start to even consider, ‘where am I?’ He looks great and he’s going to continue to feel more and more comfortable.”