After eight years, the James Harden era is over in Houston.
According to multiple sources, the Rockets are dealing the 8-time All-Star and former league MVP to the Brooklyn Nets for four first-round picks and four draft swaps.
The Rockets are also acquiring in the deal Caris LeVert, Dante Exum and Rodions Kurucs. In the deal, the Rockets are also flipping LeVert to Indiana for Victor Oladipo.
Harden had openly requested a trade from the Rockets since the end of the NBA Bubble in the summer. With the Rockets, he emerged from his role as a sixth man in Oklahoma City to a perennial MVP candidate, including the 2017-2018 MVP Award after leading the Rockets to a franchise-best 65 wins and a game away from their first NBA Finals appearance since 1995.
However, the relationship between the Rockets and Harden had become unsalvagable and despite his desire to get to Brooklyn early in the season, the Rockets remained steadfast in keeping Harden until a worthy deal emerged. Following his comments after a double-digit loss to the Lakers on Tuesday (January 12), the damage was done.
Harden now reunites with Kevin Durant and lands in the East for the first time in his career while Brooklyn deals with its own issues surrounding All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving. In total, the deal officially ends arguably the second most prolific era of the Rockets and for the Nets, pushes them into win-now mode for the East.