According to Y! Sports Adrian Wojnarowski, the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder have agreed in principle to a deal that includes ASU alumnus James Harden. The trade breaks down as follows:
Thunder receive: Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb, two protected 2013 1st round picks (From Dallas and Toronto), and 2013 2nd round pick (via Charlotte)
Rockets Receive: James Harden, Cole Aldridge, Lazr Hayward, and Daquan Cook
Harden rejected a 4-year, 52-million dollar deal earlier this week and was holding out for what he hoped would be the league maximum contract of about 4 years and 60 million dollars. Wojnarowski reports that after talks broke down earlier this week, Thunder GM Sam Presti changed mindsets and looked to move Harden quickly.
Harden played for the Sun Devils for 2 seasons from 2007-2009 and averaged 19 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 3.7 assists for his career at ASU. He was drafted third overall in the 2009 NBA draft by the Thunder.
He averaged 16.8 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 3.7 assists a game last year and was chosen for the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award. The Thunder won the NBA Western Conference Championship before losing to the Heat in the finals. This past summer, Harden played on the United States Olympic Basketball team that won the gold medal in the London Olympics.
“We wanted to sign James to an extension, but at the end of the day, these situations have to work for all those involved,” Thunder GM Sam Presti said in a statement. “Our ownership group again showed their commitment to the organization with several significant offers. We were unable to reach a mutual agreement, and therefore executed a trade that capitalized on the opportunity to bring in a player of Kevin’s caliber, a young talent like Jeremy and draft picks, which will be important to our organizational goal of a sustainable team. We appreciate James, Cole, Daequan and Lazar’s contributions to the Thunder organization and this community and wish them the best in the future.”
Harden will become a free agent next summer if Houston does not sign him to an extension by October 31st.