Although the James Harden trade came out of left field for most of us outside of NBA front-offices, apparently Harden was on the market long enough for numerous teams to inquire about his availability. As we know now, Harden eventually landed in Houston, but teams such as the Utah Jazz and the Golden State Warriors also were in contact with the Thunder about Harden.
This makes the fact that OKC pulled the trigger so early a little more mysterious. Normally when numerous parties are interested in your product, the common strategy is to play both sides against the middle in order to get the best offer possible. Then again, the Thunder may have done that. and felt that they maximized what they could get for Harden.
Another thing to obviously be curious about is the offers on the table from the teams, as both the Jazz and the Warriors have very intriguing pieces that they could have offered to the Thunder for Harden’s services. For the Jazz, most of their assets are in the front-court, so it makes sense that the Thunder may not have been as interested in their assets, such as Derick Favors or Paul Millsap. The Warriors, on the other hand, have some intriguing pieces in the back-court, like promising second-year shooting guard Klay Thompson.
Other teams that were rumored to have contact with Oklahoma City about Harden were the Phoenix Suns, Toronto Raptors, and the Washington Wizards.
The most amazing part of this deal is that with all these teams involved in possible deals for the 23 year-old shooting guard, somehow the trade still came out of nowhere. The media is losing their touch; they must have used all their insiders during the Dwightmare.
By: Frank Santos- Sports-Kings Assistant Site Manager