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Harden-to-Nets eerily similar to Pierce/Garnett trade. How's this one going to work out?


The Brooklyn Nets obviously didn't learn any lessons when they traded for fading Celtics stars Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, in effect for three first round picks and a pick swap. That deal brought rising stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown to Beantown, while the Nets went into a slide.

Now comes a reported trade that is sending James Harden to Brooklyn in a transaction involving four teams. As part of the trade, the Houston Rockets appear to be gaining three future first-round picks (2022, 2024, 2026) and pick swaps in 2021, 2023 and 2027. 

The Nets are clearly mortgaging their future (once again) to win a Championship as soon as this season. Conversely, the Rockets are obviously building for the future by potentially acquiring a bundle of talent via the draft should the Nets fail to live up to expectations.

On paper, the Nets Big 3 should virtually guarantee a Title this season or next. But Championships are not won on paper. They are won and lost on the hardwood. Many questions. Where is Kyrie Irving, and why is he missing? Who will be the closer for this team? Can three ball-dominant, volume scorers adapt their games and sacrifice for the welfare of the team?

Kyrie may be the wrench in the machinery here. Kevin Durant has repeatedly altered his game in order to adapt to a new environment. Although some may be skeptical, Harden not only will adapt - it is vital that he do so. He is the only member of the trio to not own a Championship ring. Irving seems to have difficulty adapting, and it is doubtful that he will accept being the third option on any team

Nets coach, Steve Nash did not need the stress of Irving's mysterious departure, and now this deal really puts him under the gun. Expectations are sky-high, so anything less than a strong Finals run will be deemed a failure. Nash had little to say in a recent interview relative to the trade and Kyrie's whereabouts, which is appropriate, but his subdued comment, "This is a star's league" tells me that he may not be totally thrilled with all that has transpired in the past week.



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