Just another wild Wednesday in the NBA, courtesy of the Houston Rockets.
James Harden made it clear he no longer wanted to play in Houston, which came to a head after the Rockets lost to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night. Harden essentially left his postgame press conference with a mic drop, stating he no longer felt like he could make this awkward fit work for all parties.
With his own teammates now against him, Harden was dealt to the Brooklyn Nets for a haul of picks and young talent. But Houston wasn’t done yet. The Rockets went ahead and flipped Caris LeVert, a young scoring guard who they’d just acquired courtesy of the Nets, for former All-Star Victor Oladipo of the Indiana Pacers.
The Rockets roster makeover is complete, but do the pieces fit together?
On paper, sure, the Rockets have collected quite a bit of new talent since the offseason. John Wall was an electric young guard in his day, while his former college teammate DeMarcus Cousins is only a few seasons removed from MVP consideration. Oladipo was last an All-Star in 2018, and is averaging 20 points-per-game on the young season.
Yet, this only tells some of the story.
Wall required surgery on his heel and achilles, Cousins tore his ACL and Oladipo suffered a major knee injury of his own. All of this happened in the past three seasons. While this Big 3 has potential on paper, the question remains whether they can all stay healthy at the same time.
The good news is Wall and Cousins are incredibly close on and off the court. The former Kentucky teammates will be glad to get rid of the locker room cancer that was Harden, and welcome a new star-caliber player into their midst. But the on-court product is an unknown until we see it with our own eyes.