James Harden ‘better positions our team to compete against the league’s best,’ Nets GM says

James Harden is officially a member of the Brooklyn Nets.

The Nets announced the trade Thursday morning. Brooklyn acquired Harden from the Houston Rockets in a four-way trade that also included the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Indiana Pacers. Harden reunites with former Oklahoma City Thunder teammate Kevin Durant and NBA All-Star Kyrie Irving.

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“Adding an All-NBA player such as James to our roster better positions our team to compete against the league’s best,” Nets general manager Sean Marks said in a statement. “James is one of the most prolific scorers and playmakers in our game, and we are thrilled to bring his special talents to Brooklyn. While we are excited to welcome James and his family to the Nets, we also want to thank the players who are departing. Caris, Jarrett, Rodions and Taurean were instrumental to the team’s success and have made an enormous impact on our organization. It has been a pleasure watching them grow both as players and as people and they will always be part of our Nets family. We wish each of them and their families all the best in the future.”

Harden is one of the top players in the NBA and still in his prime. Brooklyn is now among the top teams in the Eastern Conference because of his presence.

Houston will get Victor Oladipo, Dante Exum, Rodions Kurucs and four first-round picks. The Cavaliers acquire Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince. The Pacers get Caris LeVert.

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Speculation over Harden’s happiness in Houston began to ramp up weeks before the start of the season. Brooklyn had been rumored to be the front-runners in the trade but reports said the Nets were going to have to give up Irving in any potential deal.

Harden may have put more pressure on the Rockets to trade him with his postgame comments Tuesday night.

“We’re not even close, honestly, to, obviously, the defending champions and all the other elite teams out there,” Harden said during his postgame presser after a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. “I mean, you can tell the difference in these last two games.”

“We’re just not good enough. Chemistry, talent-wise, just everything,” he continued. “I love this city. I’ve literally done everything that I can. The situation, it’s crazy. It’s something that I don’t think can be fixed. Thanks.”

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Harden has led the league in scoring three years in-a-row. He is averaging 24.8 points and 10.4 assists in eight games with the Rockets this season.

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