The landscape of the NBA changed in a major way on Wednesday when the Houston Rockets reportedly pulled off a four-team trade that sent James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets for a massive haul of picks and Caris LeVert (who got sent to the Indiana Pacers in return for Victor Oladipo). For the first part of the season, the Los Angeles Lakers have looked like the clear favorites. They’ve got the best record in the NBA at 10-4 and their roster is only just starting to figure each other out.
However, the Nets now have one of the most talented big threes in NBA history. Harden and Kevin Durant are both top-10 players when healthy while Kyrie Irving is certainly among the top-20. Lakers star Anthony Davis had a chance to address the big trade.
“He got to one of his destinations,” Davis said of Harden after Wednesday’s 128-99 win against the Oklahoma City Thunder. “He wanted to play there. We’ll see how it goes. I mean, you know, KD and James played together in OKC, and then you add another guy in Kyrie. They lost some key players (Jarret Allen and Caris LeVert), but they look good on paper.
“We’ll see how it goes when those guys get in between the lines and get a chance to play alongside each other.”
Davis doesn’t sound all that worried but the world will have to see the trio play together before the Nets can be crowned as title favorites.
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LeBron James Doesn’t Have a Reaction
The blockbuster Harden trade is the biggest NBA news of 2021 so far. LeBron James typically is opinionated on these types of matters but he didn’t have any thoughts when asked about the trade.
“Don’t really have too much of a reaction. … Trades happened [Wednesday] and I couldn’t allow myself to indulge in that knowing that we had a game that we had to play tonight,” LeBron said Wednesday.
Obviously, the superstar needs time to soak in the news. Brooklyn may very well be the team the Lakers see in the NBA Finals this year. While LeBron is going to keep his thoughts close to the vest in the media, there’s no doubt he’s taken note of the powerhouse team the Nets have put together.
Are the Nets Better Than the Lakers?
With Harden headed to Brooklyn, there’s going to be a power struggle at the top of the NBA. The Lakers have the league’s best duo in Davis and LeBron, but their third-best player isn’t anywhere close to Irving. While the Nets have the better trio, Los Angeles has the better roster.
With Jarrett Allen sent to the Cleveland Cavaliers and Caris LeVert sent to Indiana, Brooklyn does not have very strong depth. The Lakers have the more balanced and deep roster. Plus, the Nets don’t have anybody to compete with Davis. There’s no doubt that Brooklyn closed the gap a bit with Los Angeles but it’s way too early to suggest that they’re the better team quite yet.