Well, Sam Presti has always been a bold one. The Thunder have been faced with a difficult decision since the end of the Finals. Keep James Harden and pay through the nose in luxury taxes? Or lose him (perhaps for nothing) after the end of the year. So Presti sat down with Harden to gauge his contract requirements and decided that it was too rich for his blood. Harden is now part of the rebuilding program in Houston.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have agreed to trade star guard James Harden to the Houston Rockets, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. The Rockets sent Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb and future draft considerations to the Thunder for Harden, sources told Y! Sports. Along with Harden, the Thunder will send Cole Aldridge, Lazar Hayward and Daequan Cook to the Rockets. As part of the deal, the Thunder will receive "significant" future draft picks from Houston, a source told Y! Sports. Contract extension talks between the Thunder and Harden broke down, and Thunder GM Sam Presti moved quickly to trade the guard.
Wow. So does Kevin Martin replace enough of what Harden did to keep the Thunder contenders this year? We'll see. The draft picks will be interesting as well.
Houston sends two 2013 first-round picks (from Dallas and Toronto) to Oklahoma CIty, source tells Y!— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) October 28, 2012
Wojo also reports that a 2nd rounder will be included as well.
This move strikes me as something Bill Belichick would do. Trade a guy just before he gets expensive for future draft picks that he can reload with. Could be madness, or it could be genius - and with Presti, don't bet against the latter.