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Raps' pick from the Lowry trade, plus two rooks Raps fans loved are now with OKC

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  • #16
    Craiger wrote: View Post
    I agree with this in part. The one thing I will say is if there is any 2nd (or 3rd) banana in the league that has the opportunity to become a superstar its Harden. That said I don't think its gonna happen (although still a very good player)

    One advantage Houston has however is they will have the ability to attract FAs (state taxes, weather, 4th biggest city and metro area in America), and the money (thanks to Morley's well placed love affair with tapping into the asian market) to do it.
    Houston has not done well in recent years in attracting free agents despite the positives you have laid out. Howard did not want to go. Nene said no. Gasol did not want to go.

    Morey also has a bad rep among agents. Very difficult to negotiate with has been reported.

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    • #17
      Matt52 wrote: View Post
      It will be interesting to see how he handles his new role in Houston.

      The reason he was 3rd banana after all was because he was the third top 4 draft pick to arrive in 3 years.

      While the argument can be made he benefited from the presence of KD and RW, one could make the argument he was limited by their presence as well. Which argument is right is going to be found out very soon.
      That was part of the reason .. but lets be clear .. hes not nearly as good as Durant and Westbrook .. and even if those guys would have been drafted in a different order, the pecking order would still be Durant, Westbrook, then Harden. Ill buy that Westbrook (who can clearly be a #1 guy) might look like a #2 option on his team, but is really a #1 guy. But Harden?

      I just dont see him being a lead option. Even on the Raps .. if we got him, I think the offense would still go through Lowry and AB before him (assuming we still had those two guys). Thats not to say those guys are better all around players than Harden (Lowry might be) - just better offensive options.
      Last edited by mountio; Sun Oct 28, 2012, 12:56 PM.

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      • #18
        Matt52 wrote: View Post
        Presti is incredible.
        Do you feel they are a better team with K-Mart than Harden though? To me Harden was the hands down best player involved in the trade, and while they have lessened their luxury tax burden they may have just handed the Western Conference crown to the Lakers. Presti may have made a good decision in the sense that OKC will still be an excellent team, but when you reach the NBA finals one year and then down grade the team the next year what does it say for their chances to make it to the finals again much less challenge the Heat should they match up again?

        Just playing devils advocate here, but also interested if anyone else see's a downside for OKC in this trade.

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        • #19
          Mediumcore wrote: View Post
          Do you feel they are a better team with K-Mart than Harden though? To me Harden was the hands down best player involved in the trade, and while they have lessened their luxury tax burden they may have just handed the Western Conference crown to the Lakers. Presti may have made a good decision in the sense that OKC will still be an excellent team, but when you reach the NBA finals one year and then down grade the team the next year what does it say for their chances to make it to the finals again much less challenge the Heat should they match up again?

          Just playing devils advocate here, but also interested if anyone else see's a downside for OKC in this trade.
          Of course there is downside. OKC is almost for sure worse this year because of the deal. Harden - while not a max player in my mind (and certainly not a #1 option), fits in great with that team and is an excellent glue guy. He for sure has more value in that setting than he does trying to lead his own team. But, when you consider that someone was going to max him out this year (whether hes worth it or not) - and thus OKC had to either match it (and see their flexibility hampered not to mention their tax position) or let him go .. then all things considered, this is a very good deal. As it likely makes them better every year except this year .. and considering how young Westbrook/ Durant are and how old the Lakers (and even the Heat a little bit) are - maybe they are better to play for a dynasty starting 2-3 years from now??
          Last edited by mountio; Sun Oct 28, 2012, 01:43 PM.

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          • #20
            This move was for the future. They take one step back this year, but it allows them to take several steps forward over the next few years. But don't get me wrong, they are still contenders IMO

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            • #21
              Mediumcore wrote: View Post
              Do you feel they are a better team with K-Mart than Harden though? To me Harden was the hands down best player involved in the trade, and while they have lessened their luxury tax burden they may have just handed the Western Conference crown to the Lakers. Presti may have made a good decision in the sense that OKC will still be an excellent team, but when you reach the NBA finals one year and then down grade the team the next year what does it say for their chances to make it to the finals again much less challenge the Heat should they match up again?

              Just playing devils advocate here, but also interested if anyone else see's a downside for OKC in this trade.
              I feel they are a better team for the long term. This season may suffer for this upcoming season but beyond this season they are definitely stronger. Time will tell.

              Martin is a damn good player too it should be noted. I don't think it is a given the Thunder are worse for this.

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              • #22
                mountio wrote: View Post
                That was part of the reason .. but lets be clear .. hes not nearly as good as Durant and Westbrook .. and even if those guys would have been drafted in a different order, the pecking order would still be Durant, Westbrook, then Harden. Ill buy that Westbrook (who can clearly be a #1 guy) might look like a #2 option on his team, but is really a #1 guy. But Harden?

                I just dont see him being a lead option. Even on the Raps .. if we got him, I think the offense would still go through Lowry and AB before him (assuming we still had those two guys). Thats not to say those guys are better all around players than Harden (Lowry might be) - just better offensive options.
                I don't think Harden can be judged as to what his potential or ceiling is. There is no question he was playing behind 2 franchise players in OKC.

                Joe Johnson comes immediately to mind. On the bench in Boston to very capable starter in Phoenix to All-Star in Atlanta.

                Not saying Harden is going to be an all-star but he was an Olympian and he is still just 23. He has never had the opportunity to be the man. Is he going to succeed? I don't know but we'll all certainly find out soon enough.

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                • #23
                  Presti has balls.. and I wish he was our GM.. however I see two immediate issues with that trade from OKC In my opinion, RW is more of a SG than a PG. Harden played the point position for them off the bench. Martin/Lamb are shooters but can't play point. Maynor can pass, but is he reliable?? They also got thinner in their front court by trading away Aldrich. PJ3 appears to be too much of a tweener to play PF (and I'm not sure if Durant would want to switch positions either).

                  From a Raptors perspective, what I love most about this transaction is that Houston is now out of the running for Gay (if Memphis ever decides to trade him). Houston won't have the cap space to take on Gay's salary without trading one of Lin/Asik or now Harden.. and they won't do that. That still leaves Cleveland with cap space/draft picks and a need for a SF.

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                  • #24
                    mountio wrote: View Post
                    Of course there is downside. OKC is almost for sure worse this year because of the deal. Harden - while not a max player in my mind (and certainly not a #1 option), fits in great with that team and is an excellent glue guy. He for sure has more value in that setting than he does trying to lead his own team. But, when you consider that someone was going to max him out this year (whether hes worth it or not) - and thus OKC had to either match it (and see their flexibility hampered not to mention their tax position) or let him go .. then all things considered, this is a very good deal. As it likely makes them better every year except this year .. and considering how young Westbrook/ Durant are and how old the Lakers (and even the Heat a little bit) are - maybe they are better to play for a dynasty starting 2-3 years from now??
                    I agree with much of what you and others are saying in that Presti did a great job in getting back some real value for Harden whom they must have felt was going to walk at the end of the season if he didn't get his max contract, but I'm not sure if I agree with putting off a championship window for another year when you're there now. Who knows what the future will bring because a key player could get injured or Lamb could be a bust or the flexibility which they were trying to preserve doesn't guarantee they wil be able to pick up another key player to help them contend. Mean while other teams around the leage will continue to get better and the super teams will continue to add to their rosters.

                    Again he did a great job in giving up the best player and getting back good value for it, but as far as contending for a championship he imo has seemingly taken a step back. Time shall tell I suppose.

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                    • #25
                      I believe this was also a money reason deal. There was apparently only a 4-5 mill. separation between the 2 parties before Presti made the deal. I suppose Harden did not want to give OKC a discount over the 4 year period. My own view is that he should have considering the champ. team he was already with. Apparently if he had stayed their big four (Durant, Westbrook, Ibaka and Harden) would have accounted for near 60 mill. Isnt 70 the luxury tax ceiling? They were going to have to screw up their bench cause they are not a big market team to afford a tax. Also I think KMart may have been forced on Presti to do the deal but he has just 1 year left....so he comes off the books. Good deal for OKC.

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                      • #26
                        Matt52 wrote: View Post
                        I feel they are a better team for the long term. This season may suffer for this upcoming season but beyond this season they are definitely stronger. Time will tell.

                        Martin is a damn good player too it should be noted. I don't think it is a given the Thunder are worse for this.
                        I think they have put themselves in a great position to be better in the long term, but I wouldn't say they will definitely be stronger beyond this season. We know with Harden they are contenders, but we don't know what Lamb will turn into, what the flexibility they are retaining will get them or if Martin will be able to give them the spark off the bench which Harden gave them (if they bring him off the bench), injuries could happen etc....just pointing out the unknown as opposed to the known.

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                        • #27
                          Anyone adhere to the old idea of whoever got the best player in the deal wins the trade? Initially I thought it was a landslide at first but no matter how many mid to late (raptors hopefully) or very late (lakers) first round picks you get, they have to turn into something. In the end, if lamb and pj3 just wind up as rotation players, i think most people would take harden locked in at a similar price to Martin (who i think is expiring this year or next). That said, since he felt he had to make the trade with a deadline, Presti did quite well. Not sure what it says about Harden though. Go for 10% more but leave a championship core. I guess he wanted to be a starter.

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                          • #28
                            Miekenstien wrote: View Post
                            means okc really needs a back up pg. jose to okc for our pick back. harden was their bench distributor
                            So basically, in this alternate dimension we basically traded Jose for Lowry straight up.

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                            • #29
                              Tesla wrote: View Post
                              So basically, in this alternate dimension we basically traded Jose for Lowry straight up.
                              Haha great way to look at it.. hopefully it happens, or at least something similar

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                              • #30
                                mountio wrote: View Post
                                Ive gotta agree - good on Presti for this one. Think about it from the Raps perspective. Would you rather have James Harden (overpaid at the max) or Jose, DD (sort of equivilent to Martin put together), Ross (Lamb), our first round pick next year (ie Lowry now), and another two 2nd rounders picks (the other first rounder was a top 20 protected Mavs pick.. so almost like a 2nd rounder). This is the closest that I can approximate from the Raps.

                                Seems like a hell of a steep price to pay for Harden. For Westbrook? Id do that in a split second. But, to me, if Harden is your best player .. you are in BIG trouble.

                                You sometimes gotta have assets to get assets .. but I gotta say, good on Presti for this one (especially since its going be unpopular and took some real balls .. )
                                I am not so certain Houston overpaid for Harden, nor do I believe that Westbrook will remain a better player than Harden is a foregone conclusion.

                                Harden has taken giant steps forward the past - his TS% was out of this world last season - and that with a ~20% usage rate. It remains to be seen what he will do in Houston. If he averages 35 minutes and 25-28% usage rate, he could average 23-25 PPG. As his TS% was so high last year, it's unclear to me where it will be with defenses focusing on him.

                                It will be interesting to see how he plays with Lin.

                                My opinion is that Houston is gambling on players whose ceiling is very uncertain. Jeremy Lin, Omer Asik (who I think of as much better defender than Noah), and now Harden. I doubt all three gambles will pay off but it's certainly an intriguing attempt at becoming relevant very quickly. I do hope it pays off for Houston.

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