$4,500,000??? That's it?
There was a big trade made right before the season tipped off. Houston aquired Oklahoma City's James Harden for Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb and (2) 1st round picks. Yes, I know there was some other stuff traded, but the rest are just typical NBA "garbage for garbage" pieces to make salaries even.
James Harden will regret this move. He wouldn't take $55.5 million over 4 years. He wanted 60. Really? Hey James, you're leaving a team that won 47 games last year (out of 66). You're leaving a team that was in the NBA finals. You're leaving a team that's ready to win NOW. You're leaving a team where you can go about your business doing your thing and make your money, under NO PRESSURE. You're now going to be counted on to come up big ALL OF THE TIME for a team that has hasn't made the playoffs since 2009. Good luck, bearded one.
Harden's a nice player. A real good player, in fact. He averaged nearly 17 points per game in the OKC uptempo offense OFF THE BENCH. Impressive, but that's when he's wasn't the focal point of the offense. James Jones leads the NFL in TD catches, but is he really a #1?? Nope. It's nice getting coverage from #2/#3 DB's. Now, Harden's gotta be the man. Defenses will key on him, especially now that Kevin Martin is gone. Harden HAD the perfect situation. He was Chris Bosh. The 3rd banana on a GREAT big 3. Now what? Harden/Lin/Delfino? Maybe he lures another big name to Houston in the future...fine, but he'll never see KD3/Westbrook walk through those doors to join him. Remember that $4.5 million, James. Hope it's worth it to lose in the 1st round of the playoffs year after year.
And as for Houston giving up Martin (17ppg) Lamb (12th pick in the 2012 draft) AND 2 picks?? HUH?? you gave up 3 1st rounders for the 6th man of the year? Here's a list of 6th man winners
. Any of those not named Manu worth THREE 1st round picks? Congrats, Houston. You've just aquired the most overrated PG of the 2011-12 season AND a pretty good 6th man. Good luck.
Congrats OKC. Yes, chemistry may be tweaked a bit, but you're still set up to run to the Western Conference finals AND you're set to be pretty good for the future. Oh, and you still have Kevin Durant. If this was boxing, i'd have stopped this fight a while ago. A total NO CONTEST.
Cheers to the NBA returning!