After months of speculation, James Harden is the newest member of the Brooklyn Nets. He joins former Oklahoma City Thunder teammate Kevin Durant, and the currently missing-in-action Kyrie Irving to form one of the NBA’s most talented trios.
Harden had been pushing for a trade since the fall, with the Nets being towards the top of the list. Obviously the Rockets weren’t going to give up a former MVP in his prime for nothing, and they certainly got a big return. In a three-team deal, that also roped in the Indiana Pacers and Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston landed four first-round picks, four pick swaps with the Nets—giving them control of the Nets’ first rounders out through 2027—and Victor Oladipo from Indiana. The Nets send out two of their best young players as well: Caris LeVert to the Pacers, and Jarrett Allen to the Cavs.
It is a giant haul for any player, especially being given out by a team that made a similar gambit in the last decade, with the infamous Kevin Garnett/Paul Pierce trade. Of course, Harden—when in shape and engaged—is still one of the NBA’s best players. Assuming he gets back to his form of the last few years, and Irving returns to the team, the Nets are a serious favorite to come out of the Eastern Conference.
Now, we know what jersey number he’ll be wearing in Brooklyn. He’s sticking with his No. 13, which he has worn his entire career in both Oklahoma City and Houston.
James Harden is wearing No. 13 with the Brooklyn Nets.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 14, 2021
That’s at least somewhat significant, since the number isn’t currently open. Landry Shamet has been wearing No. 13 for the Nets this year. It sounds like he’ll be giving it up to his new teammate.
Shamet wore No. 23 with the Philadelphia 76ers and No. 20 with the Los Angeles Clippers, both of which are available, so he has some familiar options.
James Harden could potentially make his Brooklyn Nets debut on Saturday against the Orlando Magic, pending COVID-19 testing protocols.