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#pounditFriday, January 22, 2021

Articles tagged: Houston Rockets

Kevin Porter Jr. traded by Cavs to Rockets following outburst

Kevin Porter

The Cleveland Cavaliers made good on their plans to trade Kevin Porter Jr. following a locker room outburst.

Porter Jr. has been traded to the Houston Rockets for a future protected second-round pick, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Porter, 20, was the No. 30 overall pick in 2019. He averaged 10.0 points and 3.2 rebounds per game as a rookie last year, but has had numerous off-court issues.

Porter was arrested in November on suspicion of possessing a gun and marijuana following a one-car accident. The charges were later dismissed. He was also accused of punching a woman in the face in a separate incident, which you can read about here.

The Cavaliers were trying to help Porter take care of off-court issues this season, which is why he had not played. But he had an outburst in the team locker room after learning his locker had been given to a newly acquired player. The Cavs began plans to move Porter after that.

Porter was also suspended two games for conduct issues as a freshman at USC.

Victor Oladipo open to staying with Rockets?

Victor Oladipo

Many see Victor Oladipo as a mere rental piece for the Houston Rockets, but Oladipo himself may be indicating otherwise.

Over the weekend, the former All-Star guard received a question about if he was open to remaining with the Rockets beyond this season.

“If it fits, things work out, if I’m happy,” Oladipo replied, per Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. “Essentially, it’s like a business plan. You’ve gotta go through every aspect of the business plan before you kind of figure out if you want to invest in it.”

The 28-year-old Oladipo, who is averaging 20.0 points per game so far this season, will be an unrestricted free agent come this summer. He arrived in Houston as part of the multi-team blockbuster trade for James Harden.

Previous reports suggested that Oladipo did not want to stay in Houston. He could just be keeping his options open at this point. But an ultimate departure from the Rockets may not be a foregone conclusion yet.

Photo: Michael Tipton/Flickr via CC-BY-SA 2.0

Report: Rockets owner was ‘adamant’ about not trading James Harden to 76ers

Tilman Fertitta

The Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers were reportedly the two finalists to acquire James Harden, but did only one of them ever have an actual chance to land the former NBA MVP?

Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports said on his “Posted Up” podcast this week that Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta did not want to trade Harden to Philadelphia. That may have something to do with former Houston general manager Daryl Morey now being the president of basketball operations for the 76ers.

“After that, I was told that Tilman Fertitta – the Houston Rockets owner – he was just adamant that they not make a deal with Philly, obviously with Daryl Morey being the GM over there now,” Haynes said, via Dan Feldman of NBC Sports.

The Rockets ended up trading Harden to the Nets in a multi-team deal. They landed a boatload of picks and also acquired Victor Oladipo from the Indiana Pacers, so it’s certainly possible Brooklyn’s offer was the best one on the table.

Or, perhaps Morey instructed Rockets GM Rafael Stone to not trade Harden to Philly. Stone still could have used the Sixers as a negotiating tactic even if that were the case.

Had the 76ers offered Ben Simmons, even Fertitta may have been willing to take that deal. It does not sound like Simmons was ever on the table, however.

Morey resigned as GM of the Rockets following last season. It initially looked like he was going to take time off to be with his family, but he then signed a deal with the 76ers. Fertitta may have been bitter about how that went down. He also could have been bothered when Morey was fined for tampering with Harden.

Video: Here is the Rockets’ farewell video to James Harden

James Harden

The final months of James Harden’s Houston Rockets career were difficult and somewhat awkward, but you wouldn’t know it watching the team’s farewell video to the star guard.

A day after Harden was traded to the Brooklyn Nets in a three-team blockbuster, the Rockets posted a tribute video to Harden on social media. It highlights Harden’s scoring accomplishments and MVP award and thanks him for his contributions to the organization.

Obviously, the Rockets aren’t going to allude to the last few months in a video like this. The whole thing is pretty straightforward, as one would expect.

Harden’s name is obviously all over the Rockets’ record books, and he will go down as the defining player of the era for the franchise. It’s just easy to lose sight of that right now given the needless drama that has taken place over the last few months, which saw him alienate a lot of people around the organization. The team paid Harden a nice tribute, and now they’re almost certainly ready to move on and look forward.

Photo: All-Pro Reels/Flickr via cc by-sa 2.0

This is what the Rockets reportedly wanted from the Sixers for James Harden

Daryl Morey

The Brooklyn Nets won the James Harden sweepstakes on Wednesday, landing the superstar guard in a trade with the Houston Rockets. That left the Philadelphia 76ers as the apparent runners-up in trade talks.

The Sixers and Nets were considered the two finalists for Harden, and the Nets’ massive draft pick haul got the deal done for them. The Sixers were in talks up to the end, but simply weren’t willing to meet Houston’s asking price.

According to John Clark of NBC Sports Philadelphia, the Rockets asked the Sixers for Ben Simmons, Matisse Thybulle, and draft picks. Philadelphia balked at that, and Harden was traded to the Nets. Reports indicated that the Sixers and Rockets were discussing guard Tyrese Maxey instead of Thybulle.

Simmons was probably the most talented player the Rockets could have landed in a theoretical Harden trade. That said, the Nets were willing and able to send four first-round picks to Houston, as well as four more pick swaps. That may have been the difference, particularly if the Sixers weren’t willing to do that.

Full details of huge James Harden to Nets trade

James Harden

The massive James Harden trade to the Brooklyn Nets became much larger than involving two teams and one player.

In the end, four teams, seven players, six draft picks, and four pick swaps were involved in the trade.

Here is a look at what each team received in the end.

Brooklyn Nets:
– James Harden

Houston Rockets:
– Victor Oladipo, Dante Exum, Rodions Kurucs
– 4 first-round picks (3 from the Nets 2022, 2024, 2026; and 1 from the Milwaukee Bucks via Cleveland 2022)
– 4 first-round pick swaps from the Nets (2021, 2023, 2025, 2027)

Indiana Pacers:
– Caris LeVert, second-round pick from Houston

Cleveland Cavaliers:
– Jarrett Allen
– Taurean Prince

The Cavs were able to sneak in and get Allen and Prince, which is a nice addition, all for trading a first-round pick from the Bucks. The Pacers were able to flip Oladipo, who wanted out, for LeVert, which is a nice replacement.

The Nets are the big winners because they get the MVP to pair with another MVP … and Kyrie Irving, if he ever decides to play again.

The Rockets were in a tough spot because Harden was forcing their hand. Although they get a lot of goodies on paper, you have to question what it will amount to. Oladipo could be gone after the season. The first-round picks from the Nets and Bucks will most likely be late in the draft, and least for the next few years, which would also make the pick swap rights useless. The Rockets could end up with very little to show for Harden in a few years.

Photo: All-Pro Reels/Flickr via cc by-sa 2.0

Victor Oladipo traded from Pacers to Rockets for Caris LeVert

Victor Oladipo

The Houston Rockets got a massive haul in their trade of James Harden, and they are acquiring a star from Indiana as well.

The Rockets received guard Caris LeVert as part of the Harden deal with the Brooklyn Nets. The Rockets then moved LeVert to the Indiana Pacers in exchange for All-Star guard Victor Oladipo and a second-round pick.

The Nets received the prized piece in the trade — Harden, while Indiana is moving Oladipo.

Oladipo has reportedly wanted to leave the Pacers for months. He has dealt with significant injuries that fractured his relationship with the Pacers in recent years.

The 28-year-old guard has averaged 20.0 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.7 steals per game this season. He made two All-Star teams during his time with Indiana, but he is set to be a free agent after the season.

Photo: Michael Tipton/Flickr via CC-BY-SA 2.0

James Harden traded to Nets from Rockets in blockbuster deal

James Harden

James Harden has finally forced his way out of Houston, and the former MVP is heading to the Brooklyn Nets.

The Rockets have agreed to a deal with the Nets that will send Harden to Brooklyn. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Cleveland Cavaliers are also involved in the trade. Here are the details:

Houston had reportedly been seeking a package of first-round picks in addition to a young franchise cornerstone. While they did not land an All-Star, they did receive a massive haul of first-round picks and a solid player in Caris LeVert. They then flipped LeVert to the Indiana Pacers for Victor Oladipo.

Shams Charania of The Athletic provided a full breakdown of what each team received in the blockbuster.

Obviously, that is a nice haul for the Rockets. Harden made it clear with his comments on Tuesday night that he was done in Houston, and the team ended up trading him for a handful of first-round picks and Oladipo. You can’t get a much better return than that for a disgruntled superstar.

The Nets are hoping to contend for a title with Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, but Irving has been away from the team for personal reasons. No one seems to know if or when he will return.

Report: James Harden could be traded to one of these two teams soon

James Harden

James Harden publicly displayed his frustration with the Houston Rockets following Tuesday night’s loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, and it appears he may finally be successful in forcing a trade.

The Rockets are weighing offers for Harden from the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers, and Shams Charania and Sam Amick of The Athletic report that Houston could be nearing a deal with one of the two teams.

The Rockets have been seeking a package of first-round picks and young talent in return for Harden. According to The Athletic, the Nets have offered all of their four future first-round picks and three future pick swaps in exchange for Harden. That would essentially be wagering their entire future to win now with Harden, which is risky considering Kyrie Irving has been away from the team and no one seems to know when he will return.

Philadelphia may be able to outbid the Nets if they are willing to include Ben Simmons. Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey has a close relationship with Harden from the time Morey spent as general manager of the Rockets, but he has already shot down talk of trading Simmons. Of course, there would be little incentive for Morey to publicly state his willingness to trade one of his best assets.

The Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors have also expressed interest in Harden, The Athletic reports. There are several other teams that Harden is said to be open to playing for.

Harden has not openly confirmed that he wants a trade, but the comments he made on Tuesday night left little doubt. He’s unhappy with the direction of the 3-6 Rockets and clearly wants out. While it initially seemed like Houston wanted to work things about with the former MVP, that is unlikely to happen.

James Harden has ominous comment about his Rockets future

James Harden

James Harden shared an ominous comment about his future with the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night.

The Rockets lost 117-100 at home to the Los Angeles Lakers to fall to 3-6 on the season. Harden has not seemed to have motivation and dedication to the team all season.

After the loss, Harden said he didn’t think the situation in Houston could be fixed.

Here’s how it sounded:

Harden arrived in Houston in 2012-2013 and led the team to the playoffs eight straight years. He became an MVP and scoring champ during that period, though he has had postseason struggles.

The Rockets got rid of Mike D’Antoni and Daryl Morey over the offseason, and Harden took his sweet time reporting to the team. It’s been clear for over a month that he doesn’t want to be there. The team has been stubborn about the situation, but he is making it clear where he stands.

Here are the teams Harden reportedly is open to being traded.