The NBA’s Latest Blockbuster Trade | Peter Hong
After much deliberation, the Houston Rockets finally decided to trade their superstar player in James Harden to the new and improved Brooklyn Nets spearheaded by head coach/former NBA player Steve Nash. Harden will now be joining all stars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant to form arguably one of the best trios to ever play on the same team. The Nets acquired Harden in a blockbuster deal that involved the Indiana Pacers, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Houston Rockets. The blockbuster trade involved Caris LeVert being sent to the Indiana Pacers, Victor Oladipo to the Houston Rockets, Jarrett Allen to the Cavaliers, and a variety of future draft picks changing ownership. This trade, however, has sparked much discussion regarding how the three all stars in Brooklyn will be able to share the ball and play off of each other. As of now, no one is questioning the individual ability that each of the three players (Harden, Durant, and Irving) possess, but being able to work together for the greater good and the overall goal of winning an NBA championship still remains in question.
With the addition of former league MVP James Harden, the Brooklyn Nets now possess an elite trio of ball-dominant scorers that are projected by many sports analysts and reporters to win it all in the years to come. For this scheme to work, however, a number of things must occur from the jump. Arguably the most blatantly obvious factor in how well the team performs is if one or two of the superstars is willing to defer to the other and take more of a “backseat” role. Historically and in years past, James Harden has not been the type of player who takes the backseat role in terms of taking shots and having the ball in his hands. This claim is exemplified by his past seasons with Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, and John Wall (all of whom were all star caliber players). We have seen previously, however, that Durant and Irving are capable of playing off ball successfully. In addition, NBA fans and analysts are still unsure regarding the status of Kyrie Irving and whether or not he wants to return to his job. Just recently, Irving was spotted maskless at a family member’s birthday party, and without him, the Nets will be missing one of their key playmakers. Furthermore, the rotations (in terms of lineups and minutes) that are implemented must align with the playing styles of the players. More importantly, there must be periods of time when each of the three superstar players is left alone in the game to the point where they are comfortable with taking the majority of the shots during that given period of time.
At the end of the day, having a big three in Brooklyn is great. That is, only if those players can sacrifice for the greater good that is at hand. Currently, no one truly knows whether or not the team will find success as a collective unit, and only time will tell as to how good this superteam will truly be.