James Harden traded to Houston Rockets, NBA players react

Unable to reach an extension with Sixth Man of the Year James Harden, The Oklahoma City Thunder have traded the guard to the Houston Rockets. In a surprise move Saturday night, Harden’s tenure with the Thunder came to an end.  The Thunder sent Harden to the Houston Rockets  along with Cole Aldridge, Lazar Hayward and Daequan Cook in exchange for Jeremy Lamb, Kevin Martin, two 2013 first-round picks (from Dallas and Toronto) and a 2013 second-round pick (via Charlotte.)

Harden had recently rejected a four-year offer that was around $53 million. OKC had concerns of ending up in luxury tax territory which hits teams significantly harder next summer as one of the conditions of the new labor agreement reach last November. Considering how other free impending free agent/extension talks have played out, Thunder GM Sam Presti made a move that allows the Thunder to get better in the future and also avoids a potential distraction.

For Harden, Yahoo believes once the trade is complete, Houston will immediatedly move to offer him a max extension before Wednesday’s deadline. Harden was too good to stay a “sixth man” forever. Never forget that the NBA is a business. Check out player reactions from Harden’s ex-Thunder teammates, Kevin Durant & Eric Maynor, his new teammate Jeremy Lin, LeBron James and more: