After being unable to reach a deal with the reigning 6th man of the year, the Oklahoma City Thunder decided to trade away James Harden to the Houston Rockets.
Along with Harden the Thunder send center Cole Aldrich and forwards Daequan Cook and Lazar Hayward to Houston. In return the Thunder will receive guards Kevin Martin, rookie Jeremy Lamb and two 2013 first round picks and a 2013 second round pick.
All summer both sides had been negotiating and attempting to come to a compromise. The Thunder last offer to Harden was a 4 year deal worth $53-54 million, while Harden was looking for something closer to $58-60 million.
The deadline for teams to sign their players to contract extensions is October 31, but the Thunder felt it was best to end negotiations and move forward with Harden so the contract talks wouldn’t become a distraction.
”We wanted to sign James to an extension, but at the end of the day, these situations have to work for all those involved. Our ownership group again showed their commitment to the organization with several significant offers. We were unable to reach a mutual agreement, and therefore executed a trade that capitalized on the opportunity to bring in a player of Kevin’s caliber, a young talent like Jeremy and draft picks, which will be important to our organizational goal of a sustainable team.” said Sam Presti.
While the Thunder do lose 17 points and 4 assist that Harden provided off the bench, they receive a professional scorer in Kevin Martin who’s averaged 18 ppg his entire career along with a sufficient ball handler in Jeremy Lamb who helped lead the UCONN Huskies to a 2011 NCAA Championship.
The Rockets are expected to sign Harden to a 4 year contract extension worth $60 million, the max he can receive under the new terms of the CBA.
Source Yahoo! Sports