What I am Listening to: USA TODAY Sports activities’ Jeff Zillgitt relays what he is listening to from the Brooklyn Nets on big name Kyrie Irving’s absence from the group.


The Houston Rockets resolved their James Harden downside.

The Rockets on Wednesday traded Harden to the Brooklyn Nets in a four-team deal additionally involving the Cleveland Cavaliers and Indiana Pacers, two other people aware of the deal advised USA TODAY Sports activities.

The folk spoke on situation of anonymity as a result of they weren’t licensed to talk publicly till the industry is introduced formally.

Harden, who was once unsatisfied in Houston, is reunited with Kevin Durant, and if and when Kyrie Irving returns, this offers the Nets a perfect group within the Jap Convention.

Rodions Kurucs, Dante Exum and more than one first-round alternatives are headed to Houston within the Harden deal. The Pacers will ship Victor Oladipo to Houston for Caris LeVert, and the Cavaliers will achieve Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince.

The Rockets will obtain 4 unprotected first-round alternatives: two in 2022, one in 2024 and one in 2026.

After Harden voiced a insecurity within the group following Houston’s blowout loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday, the Rockets had to make a transfer speedy. The group requested him to not attend Wednesday’s observe, and teammates, together with middle DeMarcus Cousins, have been unsatisfied with Harden’s antics. The location become untenable.

“We are simply now not excellent sufficient,” Harden stated after a 117-100 loss Tuesday night time. “Chemistry, talent-wise, simply the entirety, and it was once transparent those previous couple of video games.”

The Rockets had attempted to industry Harden however couldn’t in finding the suitable deal. After Harden’s feedback, Houston was once motivated to jettison a disgruntled big name. In go back, they bought an All-Superstar caliber participant in Oladipo and coveted draft alternatives.

The Nets now have 3 stars – relying on Irving’s go back – and the deal places them in higher place to contend for the Jap Convention championship. Brooklyn is 6-6, however Irving has neglected 5 video games, together with the previous 4 because of private causes.

Oladipo, 28, suffered a significant knee damage in January 2019 however returned in January 2020 after which performed within the bubble restart. This season, he has averaged 20 issues and 33.three mins in 9 video games.

LeVert, heading to the Pacers, was once averaging 18.five issues for the Nets as a part-time starter.


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