Lakers Win In Harden Trade

We have a winner in the Rockets-Thunder trade.

The Lakers.

James Harden instantly becomes a max player on the next contract because no way Houston risks losing him after spending heavy Saturday to get Harden from Oklahoma City, and the Rockets win the day by finally landing a player with star capability. But, meanwhile, the Lakers just became bigger favorites to win the West.

The Thunder traded their third-best player — the reigning Sixth Man of the Year, the No. 2 facilitator on offense after Russell Westbrook — for one player with NBA experience, Kevin Martin. Oklahoma City also gets well-regarded rookie Jeremy Lamb, Toronto’s first-round pick via Houston (with various protections the next five seasons) and Dallas’ first-rounder via Houston (protected through 20 in 2013). So this could one day turn out to be a good save by general manager Sam Presti, once management decided it would not find common ground with Harden on an extension. For now, though, it is an obvious blow.

The Thunder are not going away and could, bolstered by the experience of playing into June for the first time, make another drive to the Finals. It’s just that they are not as good as they were Saturday morning.

The Lakers, the ultimate in win-now mode, definitely were not sorry this trade happened. OKC’s big three of Kevin Durant, Harden and Westbrook played 84 minutes together while eliminating L.A. in five games in the West semifinals, and the Thunder outscored the Lakers during that time by 47 points. As one of several players to hurt the Lakers in transition, Harden got to the line and averaged 16 points in the series despite poor shooting.

No, not sorry at all.

You still don’t want to run into the Thunder starters in a best-of-seven. Durant, Westbrook, Serge Ibaka, Kendrick Perkins, Thabo Sefolosha is still a unit with June potential. But nothing changes the reality that the Lakers and Clippers got better in the offseason while the Thunder, though helped by being a year older, just took a roster hit.

Does it drop the Thunder behind the Spurs and/or Clippers?

Possibly, but not definitely. Oklahoma City is still loaded with positives and finishing second would not be a surprise, but the top of the conference is such a cage match that a swing of a few games in the regular season could make a huge difference. One game in the playoffs could mean early vacation.


  1. Eric says:

    Yall people get so dang frustrated when it comes to teams in getting stars. Yall automatically think when you have 3 superstars there gonna win the championship. Think about chemistry… Look at Miami they lost th 2010-2011 finals cause they was to busy with ” not 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 ” said by Lebron James. The lakers would be lucky to even get to 2 more championships. Truth is its only 2 teams in the west that will show what the lakers really are and they are the Spurs and Thunder… THINK people stop getting so frustrated!!!!!!!

  2. ko0kie says:

    I guess that just means KD has to score 35 ppg now (:

  3. Tim in Surrey says:

    I think it was a better trade for the Spurs than anyone else, frankly…

    BTW, for those of you saying Harden was better because of Durant and Westbrook, you have a point but it’s a trivial one. EVERY player benefits from playing with other good players. But Harden didn’t particularly benefit more than they did from his presence. And the stats suggest that Harden scored at a phenomenal rate when they weren’t on the court. Harden is a fabulous player, an efficient and prolific scorer who can also handle the ball like a point. The only shooting guard like him in the league is Manu Ginobili, who is 12 years older. Houston made a very good deal and Harden will be very effective once he has adjusted to his new role and team.

    • Micah says:

      But you have to admit that the best defender on the other team was not defending Harden ever. It was either Durant or Westbrook drawing the best defenders where Harden can do what he did on lesser quality players. And when Durant and Westbrook were on the bench the best defenders were also on the bench. Harden is good but definitely not a game changer and I wouldn’t make him a franchise player either.

  4. CP3toStayinLA says:

    The Lakers aren’t invincible even if all the stars on the starting 5 stays healthy all season. The bench is suspect and I thought the bench will be able to maintain the level of performance when the startes need a rest. If MIke Brown put all bench players in, whatever lead the Lakers had will dissove quickly. You can’t win a title like that.

  5. Erin says:

    While I do agree that the Lakers are a great team, they won’t win the NBA Finals, if they even make it there, due to the trade by OKC. OKC is just as good, if not better, as they were last year. The addition of K-Mart is a great one. Whether or not he stays is the question, seeing as he’s a free agent at the end of this season. Lamb I will admit I don’t know anything about. But he must be good if he was a lottery pick. Houston will be better than last year, but they still won’t make the playoffs. The Lakers won’t win because Miami is going to repeat. They got better with the additions of Allen and Lewis. But that’s not the only reason. . . The Lakers on paper look phenomenal. But so did the Lakers of ’04. Gary Payton, Kobe, Karl Malone and Shaq and they still couldn’t win in the Finals to Detroit because they couldn’t play like a team. Detroit did. This year, the team is basically the same setup, except a better upgrade at PG. But lack of chemistry and team building is going to hurt them in the beginning of the season and it will be hard to make that up. My money, while I am neither a Lakers or Heat or Thunder or Rockets fan, the Heat are going to repeat. Sorry, L.A. fans, but it’s not gonna happen.

  6. Thunder up! says:

    How are the Lakers better than OKC? Martin doesn’t attack the basket like James or isn’t as good in transition. I still think he, and lamb, who we know is good just not how good, will lead OKC to being the best in the west.

  7. @motorcityPat says:

    Good trade for both teams MArtin and LAmb for a 16 ppg game combo guard who wanted 55mil instead of 52….presti didn’t have the cap room to offer him a max deal or they would have been paying and extra 35 mil off top for spending limits.Harden said he would take less money to say but when is was offered like 6 mil from a max he refused…..Presti had o make a decision before the 31st because as a restricted free agent next year somebodt wouldve offered him a max and okc wouldve had to match it or let him go so they got something for him…Honestly he wasn’t really that good in the playoffs i always said he would be the reason they would fail he’s selfish

  8. John says:

    Anyone saying Harden is not a great player must not watch basketball. I am a Denver fan so I despise OKC and am very happy about this trade. Harden beat out Eric Gordon for a spot on the Olympic team and people are saying he’s not that good. Look at OKC’s offense with and without him on the floor. This is a huge blow for OKC. Harden is an elite player. Plus 16 ppg off the bench is ridiculously high when you consider he’s playing with the scoring champion and the trigger happy Westbrook.

  9. james from baltimore says:

    The lakers will not win at all. the Dwightmare still looms he has already said he will test free agency this year and has not guarrenteed a spot with ;akers next season so they will worry about that. Also now with howard people will gaurd the paint more and with nash in pg he cant shot a three only player who cna is kobe shut the key and 3 ppint line the lakers will be stuffed. Kmart is better players than durant can spread the floor and is alot more consistent shooter. Averaged 20ppg last 2 seasons, lamb is proven by leading his team to a ncca championship. I jope harden the greedy prick chookes and ends up as a nobody in the league

    • Ok. For all of you uninformed, non-basketball watching, or playing individuals posting the fact that Kevin Martin has avg 20ppg and shooting a high 3pt percentage & any other stat that you probably heard or seen on ESPN or NBATV, you are leaving out the most important statistic of all; get ready for it…… Yes, Martin has averaged 20ppg in his career on several occasions, BUT HE HAS ONLY PLAYED IN OVER 70 GAMES IN A SEASON 3 SEASONS OUT OF 9. So that tells you that he is totally injury prone, & has only been healthy 33% of his career. Now his skills are not the question, as he is capable of filling it up, but in order to fill it up, you have to be out there on the floor. OKC will probably take this season to see if he is healthy and productive, and if he is not; with this being the final year of his contract, he will be unloaded as a free agent for some cap space, or maybe even traded at the deadline. OKC losing Harden will hurt them, but I still see them as one of the top teams in the west. Whether they will be good enough to knock off the Lakers again remains to be seen, as the Lakers have added the best defender in the league, along with one of the best point guards of all-time. It will be interesting to see how they gel based on the fact that their new additions will be seeing a whole lot more single coverage than they did with their former teams. So I think the Lakers are better this year than they were last year, and the Thunder were better last year than they are right now. Will that translate into the Lakers beating them in a playoff series? Only time will tell. I think Harden did a lot more for OKC than what Kevin Martin is going to bring to the table, but we’ll see.

  10. James Harden leaving OKC really helps the Lakers’ goal of reaching the NBA finals because James Harden was the guy who hurt the Lakers last season especially during the playoffs. This is because Harden was usually the guy who is left open due to the tight defenses played on Westbrook and Durant. OKC not having Harden means one less headache on offense for the Lakers. This would also mean Westbrook and Durant will have to work harder on offense. Kevin Martin can shot the ball but he is no James Harden who can orchestrate the offense and create his own shot. Definitely, OKC will feel the loss of Harden this season and other teams like the Lakers will benefit from this loss. Yes, the Lakers are the biggest winners in this trade because with Harden gone, the gap between OKC and the Lakers is becoming smaller and the chances of the Lakers getting the Western Conference championship this season becomes bigger.

    • Thunder up! says:

      ok, and now the guy that’s going to be left open is Martin who is as good if not better shooter. Kobe and Nash n Metta won’t be better but KD and Westbrook will. Mismatches all over, not to mention D12 being in foul trouble, no way LA wins

  11. dirk45 says:

    The real winner in this situation is Miami. OKC without Harden has to prove they are good enough to beat Miami. And I don’t see the Lakers being able to beat Miami either because Nash and Kobe are too old to keep up with Miami’s smallball.

  12. kevin Michael Menkhorst says:

    I think making a decision on this isn’t easy. Harden is and has proven to be an All-Star! Making this move must have been the hardest on everyone, but lets look at the reality here. 2 first round picks and Kevin Martin… Now look at the Lakers, Kobe has a max of 3 more years if he extends his contract (which he will most probably do by 1 year) the Thunder are in prime time when Kobe leaves, Nash leaves and Gasol has hit the 35 mark. Meaning the next 6 years we should expect the Lakers to win it all 2 times and then the Thunder will take over!

  13. EVTar says:

    Ignoring the Kevin Lamb guy, and the trade pick. The deal is pretty much Kevin Martin for Harden. Kevin Martin is not necessary what the Thunder need it really isn’t. Yes, They have probably gotten a better outside streaky shooter, but Harden changed the flow of defense on the other team. He was a driver and went down to the bucket a lot, most of the time before thinking shoot first. Kevin Martin is a small shooting guard. Tell me who was guarding Lebron in the NBA Finals? Harden and Sefolasha? They just ruined a guarding rotation in that department. Lastly, Harden was the play maker in the second unit. He ran alot of pick and rolls with Collison and Ibaka. This team is going to rely on DURANT and WESTBROOK even more on offense ever before..

  14. KeCe says:

    I think the laker starting five had good +/- in the preseason. And that will only get better in time. I also believe that the bench +/- will be better when the roster is decreased and the rotations of the bench are getting more routine like. But you can`t write OKC off like this. They are dangerous! Its up to the lakers to prove they’re the best again…

  15. Lol what says:

    @ancientrs wait did you just say a player should be paid for what he has done, not what he might do going forward? So by your logic when Kobe’s contract ends he will be being offered in excess of 30 mill a year? Why don’t players like Shaq or MJ come back, MJ one 6 rings and now we are paying players for what they done, not what they’ll do so why not give 40 year old mj a max contract? idiot.

  16. trueHEATfan says:

    Lakers WIN!!! … I think not. It is pretty obvious to any rational fan of basketball that this Laker team will not do anything until Kobe learns how to differ to Nash. Sad to say this will never happen, and Kobe will continue to put up bad percentages and ask for 30 shots a game. Last year Kobe posted career lows in shooting percentages 42FG% for the season and about the same for the playoffs. This slump also carried over into the Olympics where it was completely obvious that LeBron was the best player on that team and Kobe was a mere helper. These are signs that a rational basketball fan will look at and take into consideration that they’re one time superstar though still talented, is not nearly as good as he once was. The worst part of this whole thing is that poor Nash and Howard are noticing it too, but don’t feel like they have the right to say anything to Kobe becaus ehe is royalty to the Lakers. I will laugh till my gut bursts when this whole Laker situation comes crubling down before Kobe Bryant. On one hand he says in interviews that he wants to go down in the books as someone that will do anything to win; and on the other all he does is continually jack-up 25 foot brick three pointers double covered while Nash is at top of key wide open, and Dwight cut to rim with arms up looking for lob.

  17. dan83 says:

    I dont think lakers are winners here. I still dont even see them in conference final. OKC are still nr1 contender, then the Spurs. Dont get me wrong, but I think the Lakers are overrated, especially Nash. He will not be able to run the floor like he did in Suns. In lakers, the offense will be much slower, so all of his flaws will come out. Time will tell.

  18. Unbiased says:

    i’m a laker fan but i believe that the thunder will still finish first in the west because there’s no doubt the lakers will have chemistry issues at the start of the season. In my opinion about the trade the thunder got a little worse by giving away there third best player, K-Mart isnt as good as harden.

    • Micah says:

      KMart is better than Harden offensively speaking (check the stats), but Harden has a higher BBall I.Q. Harden understands the game really well but his athletism is not on par with other players.

  19. getget says:

    LAKERS?? maybe next season. not now, yes they have Howard, but they removed Bynum. I mean whats the difference? They are both strong. Nash and kobe is old, and they have a weak bench. face the fact Laker fans, this season is not yours. Still it’s between balance SAS, young OKC or LAC in the end.

  20. nofear says:

    I think that Harden will find out what ben gordan found out. Thats its easier to stay a reserve on a championship team and score in bunches. Well, Harden will do ok, I just don’t see him as a max money guy.

  21. asian cant jump says:

    i believe its a rare “win win” situation for both teams, trading harden is a great move as okc don,t need 3 go to guys in one team. kevin durant, as good as he is, have not proven himself to be able to take over when its require, and part of that is due to having harden and westbrook on the same team. With KD as the main guy now i,m looking forward to a mvp season from him.

    As for harden its a good challenge for him to break the stereotype that sixth man of the year usually is a overrated starter.
    Hopefully lin and harden can bring Houston to at least round 2 of the playoff .

    cant wait for the season to start!
    go lakers

  22. Lakers Lose says:

    To many biased writers in the NBA its sickening.

    All this Hype and talk will back fire and come playoff they will be eating thier words.

    Laker fans and writers fail to see reality. Nash practically 40 years old, hes over the hill, hes a play maker who can get schooled on defense, stay in his grill he cant shoot. Howard is coming of a back injury, that is no minor injury, your back goes youll have a hard time walking let alone run and play B Ball. Offensively without the dunk hes no threat. Hack a Howard is viable option as hes horrendous from the Free throw line. Big keeps his body between him and the basket there is no need for a double team. Box out when he shoots, Howard will struggle to score.

    Kobe is a old man and is playing like one. Injury after injury his body is showing the beating he’s been taking through out the years. He’s two steps slower, never really was much of defender and could very well be a liablity on defense now. Stay in Kobe’s face because his drive isnt a threat now and contest his jumper and you can shut down Kobe completely.

    Metaworld peace last season for the most part was rubbish. Defensively rubbish because hes so slow now. He can barely get off the ground, It easy to stay with him on a drive and swat his shot due to lack of jumping ability. He’s practically useless if you stay in face and contest his shot.

    Gasoft is still soft and only getting softer. Easy to push off the block, keep a good distance from the rim and hes ineffective, his jumper is ok but easy to defend. Since Howard will have to stay in the paint, that leaves Gasoft with having to settle for jumpers and all teams can live with that.

    Lakers bench is rubbish, they loss Sessions and they loss Matt Barnes two key role players. Steve Blake seems to be getting worst by the season. Jamison is over the hill, contest his jumper he doesnt bring much else to the table.
    The rest is not even worth mentioning.

    On paper Lakers look like they could avoid a first round thrashing.

    The preseason with only losses for the Lakers is not surprising, you Laker fans need to face the facts. This is season will most likely be a disaster for the Lakers. If thats what happens, Howard is likely to leave again. As Nash and Kobe will be gone.

    The Spurs, Clippers, OKC are still the better teams in reality not on paper.

    • Micah says:

      A little extreme but you may have vital points there. However remember Boston put together an over the hill line up and won a championship with them and still competes quite well every year with that team.

  23. riot says:

    KMart is good as harden?….no way…watch how he play inrockets game and compare…think…

    • Game Time says:

      Yes way. He’s averaged over 20pts in more than three seasons as a starter. He’s a really underrated player…if you know anything about bball.

      • Micah says:

        KMart is better than Harden offensively and can get to the line more. But having an NBA high I.Q. you have to give it to Harden, he understands the game very well.

  24. Princess says:

    in my opinion, the trade really benefited LA though it doesn’t guarantee them western conference champions OKC will still be there and they will still be a contender of their conference. but its a big hit for them as a team because for me as a basketball fan saw the team chemistry they have especially when harden and durant are on the floor together. its really the playmaking skills of james harden is what the going to miss. sometimes it is not really the scoring or the stats that’s matter for a team to win there will be this one player who will need to sacrifice and put that intangibles to win games just like James harden did for OKC.

  25. LAKESHOW says:

    preseason means nothing. 0-8 remember what happened during `10 and `02 season ?

  26. Bob M says:

    (Reread the comments) Harden is not a max deal guy. In the new CBA you have to be very careful about your big three because it’s hard to move a max. Ask Pau Gasol. Martin will be playing for a contract after having his issues in Houston and Lamb is at rookie contract money. On top of those facts, they have 2 more 1st round picks coming up.
    The Thunder played this game very well. I just hope they get tougher defensively and mature a little more offensively. Kevin Durrant is the only player that I can remember that scores 30 points and seems uninvolved in the game. In the playoffs, I thought he should have taken more shots and been more aggressive, then the stat line says 35 pts 9 rebounds. This year, he will have more room to operate. scary scary

    • Micah says:

      OKC made out like a fat rat!!! But I wonder why Houston made the trade in the first place? They should have at least kept their 2 #1s, the trade would have still went down I think.

  27. floyd GAYweather says:

    scott is right. lakers are the winner in the harden deal. but will the lakers win the finals? i think not.

  28. cedric says:

    I don’t why pepole keep saying the spurs are old maybe old with the core three but every year they are in the mixs keep haiting. They would have won more rings if it was not for they nba keep puting teams togethere like heat,lakers,boston thats what they want.Go Spurs Go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  29. Bob M says:

    First off, I wouldn’t mention Hasheem Thabeet as a young developing player. He was soft in college and softer in the pros.
    The Thunder upgraded big time. Harden is a good player and a very good scorer, but Maynor is a true point that has good enough skills to get the ball to a big time scorer in Kevin Martin. When OKC spreads the floor with Durrant, Westbrook, and Martin, the double teams and defensive transitions must be sharp. Jeremy Lamb was my favorite SG coming out in the draft. He has a great fundamental skill package and a really high IQ. His athleticism is very high as well. Then, add Perry Jones, the 6’11” SF and the Thunder are going to be hard to handle.
    The chemistry may takes a little time, but the 1st and 2nd units will be tough to defend. If they get a defensive mindset and use all that length and athleticism, you would have to say they are ahead of the pack in the West (Lakers included)
    This trade was the steal of the year…. and no blogger can polish this trade any other way. The Thunder made out like bandits and Houston has 3 max or near max players that haven’t proven they are superstars.

    • Micah says:

      Thank you for making this clear for many of the people who don’t of talent or strategy in the NBA. This is how OKC became a great team in the first place – thru drafting and acquiring talented young players (not old).

  30. Come on!! says:

    I feel sorry for OKC and especially to Kevin Martin. They are disrespected not only in this article, but mostly by the entire basketball universe. Kevin Martin is very underrated and has the potential to score 20+ppg. He was bothered by injury last season and still score 15+ppg. OKC didn’t have a huge offseason but they got back Eric Maynor of an injury. EM is a true PG who slows the game down, unlike Westbrook who’s a scoring PG. They also got PJ3, a tenacious inside presence and athleticism. J-Lamb is a college standout and helped UCONN win the championship in ’11. OKC didn’t only save their future, but they acquired good players that are nearly equal to Harden. Westbrook will get better and KD will have an MVP season. Thunderup!!

  31. zach says:

    i think Lakers is still the team to beat in the west and I am confident that they can beat the thunder even if harden is there. Triangle offense is needed now in the Lakers team. With this kind of offense, they will maximize the superstar capabilities of their players. I know its hard because they are all stars from where they came from. But if its good for the team then they might as well settle their pride in, be humble, and trust each other. They are good defensive team with the kind of players they have.


  32. willseeyouat says:

    why does number 2 look like he took 4 or 5 steps?
    offensively, martin and harden are quite equal most of you may agree, however martin at best is definitely more efficient than harden, plus he’s one of the best at getting to the line.
    with that being said i think everyone wins in the trade
    Harden – can finally develop himself and prove himself as the 1st option on O.
    Martin – can score at will since the best D will be more focused on KD and/or Westbrook

  33. NBAfan says:

    If OKC won’t win the west just because their 6th man leaves, then maybe OKC isn’t as good as people hype them up to be…HAVE A LITTLE FAITH!

    People say Harden won’t be as good as a starter in Houston, but then he’s good enough to make OKC better than the Lakers who have Kobe, Howard, Nash, Pau, and Metta?

    Who wants more money? Everybody.

    Who wants to be a 6th man for life? Nobody.

    These are how teams are balanced? They can’t afford so many young stars in one go for so long….

    How do you cheat this system? You team up with your all star buddies….I’m not talking about the old guys of Boston and LAL…

  34. Joseph_03 says:

    Well, the trade just helps the Lakers cause, like the article said, their in win now mode. They need and want a championship this year or the next. Mostly this year in order to entice Dwight to be the next face of the franchise. The Harden trade can be viewed in a manner of ways, but there are a few things that are certain.

    1. One of the major strengths of the Thunder offense is that they can consistently run because Harden gives them that extra motor to drive the second unit with very little drop off while some of the starters are resting.

    2. When the Thunder need more firepower to comeback or break away from teams they put Harden with the starters. Just like what Manu does with the Spurs.

    3.To reach the June dance, they need to get past the Lakers in either the second round or conference finals. The Laker defense had problems containing both Harden and Westbrook at the same time. (although this could be altered now that they have Meeks in the lineup and Dwight protecting the rim).

    4. Beyond Thabo the Thunder had little drop off when guarding the likes of Kobe and Manu because they had Harden. Now with Kevin Martin, they have probably equal to better offense but not really something that will make opposing teams or elite 2 guards sweat. the downside is, on defense Kobe and Manu will eat Kevin Martin up since he is such a poor defender.

    At the end of the day, the Thunder went down a notch in the short term but maybe won their future since they will be more flexible moving forward and remember it’s still a maybe.

    As fans lets all sit back, we’ve said our opinions and let the games begin.

    • Izzy says:

      Who says they HAVE to play each other? Are you discounting the Spurs and Clippers?

      The Clippers have more than enough potential to beat both LA and OKC. Clippers will more then likely matchup better against LA and have a high chance of beating them in a series.

      The trade does favor LA, but who is to say K-Mart and Lamb won’t improve/provide?
      Gonna be a wild season and I hope my Miami Heat don’t lose to Boston (that’s all I care about now!)

  35. flight5forever says:

    OKC wins. howard cant handle perkins loool

  36. Jack Mehoffa says:

    Anybody else remember who averaged the SAME numbers as harden did 2 seasons ago? Jeff Green…… Jeff green didnt do to well in boston in the half a season he played for them the year he was traded.

  37. Jayy KiDDx says:

    This trade is a win and a loss for OKC. It’s only a loss because they will have to build chemistry with their second unit which honestly will take a good amount of time since Harden was the playmaker for the team. Only bright side is that Maynor is coming back from injury so maybe he can come back and be able to set the team up. The rest is a positive. They picked up a proven scorer in Kevin Martin who is a little injury prone if you ask me but they also got a really good rookie who has nothing but an upside and on top of that some draft picks. Also get to keep their salary cap in good shape. Now as in OKC being able to contend for the west of coarse they can. They can beat any team in the NBA in a 7 game series. Its all on the maturity level of Westbrook and Durant. As for the Lakers they are not going to struggle at all. They’ve only gotten to play 2 times as a whole team but with limited minutes and while they have been on the floor together they have been unstoppable. (as in the starting 5) You cannot judge a team off a preseason. This team will live up to their hype.

  38. drdre23 says:

    this trade isnt good for okc but for harden, he get more paid

  39. Doremon says:

    Harden = Another Joe Johnson….All star type player who can play the 1-3 but not a franchise caliber player

  40. BRIKS says:

    LAKERS will not win to the OKC this year, still the OKC wil reign on the WEST, OKC vs. HEAT….

  41. Gabriel says:

    Houston starting five

    PG Lin
    SG Harden
    SF Delfino/Parsons
    PF Jones
    C Asik

  42. 4dawyn says:

    wrong title it should be “CLIPPERS WIN IN HARDEN TRADE” and not the lakers!

  43. asd says:

    Harden vs Lakers in last PO
    36% fg 12 asist 11 turnovers in 5 games.
    And still it ended 4-1.

  44. Joe says:

    People are acting like K Mart is no good, it’s just cause the rockets haven’t been a popular team as of late, kevin martin has averaged 20+ppg for several seasons, and harden has never done that

  45. John says:

    Lakers will not be number 1. i dont think anyone realizes how bad their bench is, this is going to cost them many games.

    • NBAfan says:

      The Laker’s starting 5 is the best starting 5 in the league. From 1 to 5, they are the best overall…

      Give 2 of their starting five a rest, and they are still a darn good team.

      Kobe + Pau + Metta: just the Lakers of the past…

      Kobe + Dwight + Metta: like Shaq and Kobe all over again, but roles are reversed

      Nash + Pau + Dwight: kind of like the twin tower days of the spurs, but with a better PG

      Kobe + Nash + Metta: playing small

      Don’t forget, Blake can stroke the 3, Meeks isn’t too bad and Jamison can still score down low…

      DEFENDING against freaks of natures like Lebron, Wade, and Westbrook will be a problem, but they are problems for every team out there, not just the Lakers

      INJURIES to the starting five will be the biggest problem…and since they are pretty old, they have to really be careful.

  46. tweaksilver says:

    This only proves that “Kobe is the most LUCKY player in the NBA, ever!”

  47. lakersalltheway says:

    thunder is done without harden
    lakers just got 2 allstars and they got kobe, metta, and pau
    spurs are really old
    nba finals: miana and lakers

  48. dr.rasheed syed says:

    I agree with you Scott. Lakers are indeed the winners 🙂

    As a Lakers fan, this trade will be good and bad.
    Good: big threat is out/6th man of the year.
    Bad: Not having the complete rejoice of beating OKC this 2012-2013 year, w/o Hardern, it wouldn’t be the same. I wanted harden to play in OKC so my Lakers could take back western conference back to L.A.

    I feel bad for the OKC Thunder fans.
    There is no loyalty in this sports “Steve Nash”.
    Every player should have the right to make the final decision 🙂

    • YearZeroNIN says:

      I feel GREAT for OKC fans. Kevin Martin has proven he can put multiple 20+ PPG seasons. Harden has yet to prove he can do that (although I think he will). Durant, Westbrook, and Harden from the new “BIG 3” in the OKC. They will form the ultra radical offensive powerhouse that will the Thunder to the undisputed 2013 NBA World Championship!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • YearZeroNIN says:

        Sorry, typo. Durant, Westbrook, and Martin form the new “BIG 3” in the OKC. They will form the ultra radical offensive powerhouse that will lead the Thunder to the undisputed 2013 NBA World Championship!!! BEST IN THE WORLD!!!

    • Game Time says:

      Of all people in the NBA you pick Steve Nash to reference a unloyal player?…So what other sports did you just start watching this year?

  49. Crystakke says:

    Wow, you guys are still so delusional over the Lakers. After this trade, the Spurs will easily get the No.1 seed. It’s too early to talk about playoffs, but the Lakers will have a slow start to the season due to chemistry issues. I bet the Clippers will have a better record than them in January, OKC 2nd and Spurs at least 3 games of everybody else.
    Lakers might look great on paper, and might stroll through the West in April and May, but to begin the season there will be at least 4 teams that will play better than them.

    PS: I’m gonna have such a big laugh when we’re 30 games into the season and the Lakers are barely over 0.500.

    • QuestionMark says:

      I’m gonna have a big laugh when OKC kicks them out of the Playoffs, people crowning them the best in the West now and making the Finals for sure, stop kidding yourselves, Harden or no Harden, it is still gonna be tough for L.A, Harden is just one player, Durant can still put up 30 and I’m sure will have a career year this season, Westbrook and Ibaka are just going to get better, we don’t know how well Perry Jones or Lamb will play but they have great potential and of course Martin can still score.

  50. Porfirio Rubirosa says:

    HAHA! Lakers need to win a couple of games first…The WEST is WILD AGAIN!! This SEASON is going to be great…Im still going with THE CLIPPERS to COME OUT OF THE WEST!

  51. ChenZhen says:


    • NEET says:

      I think you forgot to turn caps lock off…

    • YearZeroNIN says:

      ChenZhen, I’d hate to break this newsflash to you: Andrew Bynum averaged 18.7 PPG last season. Howard averaged 20.6 PPG last season. WOW!!! The Lakers upgraded 2 more points per game!!! HAHAHAHAHA!! You really think that is a good enough upgrade to compete in the Western Conference this season????????????????????? Are you el loco en la cabeza???

      • Micah says:

        Yea Howard just scored 2 more points per game, but subtracted just as much points from the opposing team defensively. That makes a game changer dude……

    • Game Time says:

      It’s only one player and in fact he’s the one player who they needed to step up most in the finals next to WB and Durant, but didn’t. Not saying it was right, but OKC made a good trade and will be a stronger team this year than people think.

    • celtic533 says:

      how do you say Lamb is inconsistent.He hasnt played an official minute of basketball yet.

      • chigchig says:

        I was about to say the same thing.. and in pre season he led the rockets in scoring at 20+ a game.. so all the unofficial time hes had playing hes been pretty damn good

  52. Zech says:

    I don’t think we will really know who won this trade until we get to see both teams play this season. I can see it going either way, but as a Lakers fan I really hope this hurts OKC.

  53. Sieg Delacroix says:

    I disagree. Harden’s perfomance in the Finals was miserable. He comes empty when the team needed him most. Martin and Lamb would fill that role better. Also, Lamb can have now two great teachers, in Westbrook and Durant. Finally, do not forget the picks, OKC desperately need extra picks (coz their own picks are too low) to turn them into new star players.

  54. Danny says:

    Thunder saw Lakers got Howard and Nash so they just rather let Lakers win and contend in the next few years when Lamb develops and those utilize those draft picks.

    • YearZeroNIN says:

      You delusional Laker fans crack me up. Hate to break this to you, boy: Kevin Martin cancels out Dwight Howard. At least, from an offensive standpoint. I just checked the stats. Kevin Martin has averaged 18.4 PPG career. Howard has averaged 18.4 PPG career. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, interesting. The Thunder just canceled out any small edge Howard may have given the overrated Lakers. 😉

    • celtic533 says:

      Exactly!there will be no LA in two years and the heat will be losing teamperature.Thats when Lamb, Perry Jones,Hasheem Thabeet,and their other young players will develop and KD and Westbrook will be just entering their primes.That’s when the OKC dynasty will begin.Watch out NBA!The Thunder aint as dumb as yall think they are.

  55. justyouwatch says:

    Hmm, didn’t we (OKC) sweep the Lakers in the playoffs last year? Probably do it again if they make it that far. Maaaaybe they win one or two games. They couldn’t even win a preseason game. Ha!!

  56. NBA veteran says:

    lakers will win the west now.
    thunder shuld have taken the risk and kept harden
    nba is like chess, one bad move : checkmate
    bad move OKC

    • YearZeroNIN says:

      Your inane comment merely proves how underrated Kevin Martin is. This is a guy that has proven himself with multiple 20+ PPG seasons. The move is EXCELLENT. Not only are the Thunder better than the lakers, but the Clippers will win L.A. now.

    • pakyaw says:

      they need to past 2nd round first…LOL..

  57. Johnpr says:

    oohh c’moon how can they say the lakers win in my opinion its a great trade for both teams because harden finally gets the chance to show what he can do and the thunder got two outstanding SGs kmart its exactly what they needed because he spaces the floor better than harden he is a better shooter and gives more space to westbrook and durant to drive and it allows also to sefolosha to play the backup SF that I think was crutial in the finals overall nice trade

  58. kobe fans says:


    • YearZeroNIN says:

      Not if Kobe plays pathetically like he did in the 2012 Olympics. If that happens … I feel sorry for the Laker fans … because their winless preseason record just might carryover into the first-half of the upcoming regular season. If the Lakers get off to a bad start (which very well could happen), I don’t like their chances of going very far if they have to play “catch-up” all season long.

    • spacejam1996 says:

      the lakers will end up being worse because they collapsed their chemistry by acquiring nash and howard. also, the thunder will now be better with martin, who can match up against kobe. Howard is out for the begiinig of the season probaly because he is still recovering. even if the lakers do squeeze by the thunder, they will get destroyed by whoever the east contender is (Boston or Miami)

      • wats wrong with this guy^ says:

        first off howard will play on opening night tommorow versus dallas. second off u sound stupid saying the lakers collasped there chemistry by aquiring nash!!! do u know who nash is? he will make the chemistry click right away all by himself. i think u were born in 1996 thats why your so nieve. and howard is just howard he doesnt need chemistry to block 4 shots and grab 14 boards.

      • Game Time says:

        Wow! Nash is going to make the chemistry click like that? Okay I’m just going to stay tuned in for this and hope you come back on here when they are having syncing issues lol.

      • LoLAlot says:

        I don’t know about them clicking instantly but I can tell you he is right about Howard. He doesn’t need chemistry to crash the boards and block shots he is just gifted enough to do that on his own. And Nash is a GREAT point guard even this late in his career. He will find and create open shots for himself and other players no matter what as that is his natural talent. The REAL question is will Kobe let go of the reigns a little and let Nash be the GREAT facilitator that he is. If he does watch out NBA and they will eventually find their chemistry as their all pro players weather its instant or not.

  59. Adrian Meli says:

    Scott, I think you hit the nail on the head on this one…

  60. Gordon A says:

    I agree with steppx. If OKC get the best out of him, Jeremy Lamb in future has potential to possibly be as good as Harden, so it may be a risk but the Thunder have potentially just traded Harden for a player not hugely worse than him in Martin and a player who COULD be as good as Harden, oh plus another couple picks that could turn out nicely. Both teams win in my eyes but the Thunder especially have been really quite clever with this one.

  61. John Doe says:

    Don’t judge to soon…

  62. Game Time says:

    This article is pure pro Laker bias. Oklahoma lost a 6th man, but gained a top 10 SG and a 1st round pick player. The result of which is team chemistry down for some time, but scoring potential greatly increased. So far the Lakers are still looking to get a feel for each other and their chemistry is down as well…so is their main scorer. Looking at this scenario for both teams I would say they have work to do with their new teammates so they can blend effectively; however, OKC has to mesh two guys into their system and the Lakers have six additions that will need to work into the rotation. Throw in the fact the the OKC players are younger (still) and it just makes me think this team became a whole lot more dangerous. While we still haven’t seen if the Lakers will be as dangerous as everyone expects. I don’t see anything wrong with predictions as they are fun with sports, but not when making one that look asinine based on the facts present.

  63. Damien says:

    I definitely think that KMart is a much better player than Harden. He is a much more talented offensive player and Harden was given opportunities to score because of pressure being put on Durant and Westbrook. Martin is a threat and is just a less skilled playmaker than Harden. But with the addition of Jeremy Lamb, I guess OKC got the best of this deal.

  64. haters at work says:

    lakers shld be more concerned abt their own team winning. instead of worrying abt other teams

  65. Banks says:

    Harden had poor shooting all playoffs, K-Mart won’t suffer from that…..Harden, inside, probably feels like he is a better player than he was able to show, so he might not have been giving his all.

  66. amitpal says:

    Why r people already crowning the lakers. Havemt u guys learned anything from the whole miami situation. Or any situation it takes time for team to build chemistry. The lakers were terrible in the preseason and u can tell there chemistry isnt there yet.

  67. W/E says:

    the lakers are OLD and CRIPPLED…and their bench…cant even describe how horrible they were in the preseason..

    • Mytownla says:

      Your mom is old and cripppled

      • Common Sense says:

        and so are the lakers… howard is coming off surgery and isn’t going to risk injury since he’s contract is on the line at the end of the year. Nash is basically sidelined by all star break every year trying to deal with a tight back. Kobe only has two more years so he’s praying that Nash and Howard risk injury for the title. And Gasol doesn’t really care about rings since he’s Euro ball the “Spaniard”. And Metta…well he’s Metta… And let’s be honest 0-8 in the preseason speaks volumes about their bench. Their bench is not only shallow, they are barely a puddle.

      • W/E says:

        nice comeback loser

      • pakyaw says:

        LAKERS only good in papers…

    • WOW says:

      its preseason take it easy buddy lol…They will be #1 or 2 in playoffs and I think that they just became #1 in West because the thunder have a string chemistry which was in part due to harden, this trade is right before season opener…Lamb and Kamrt dont even have a chance to go to training camp and learn the system or the guys.

  68. John Gambina says:

    That let to be sais. Ask the Lakers and they will reply “Wiil see” or ” That not in not gfor sure ” We just so not know. Yes Harden is a good / great player.Can He play with Lin , I think so , I think this is one thing for sure changes the Lakers thinking about both teams. Lamb and martin anr not just a box of popcorn and a tuna fish surprise they can play and especially this summer thye both look grea/good. So again I think the Lakers are rethinkin both teams and not just saying any one thing got easier but two thins become more complicated. Agsin do not bet your hard earned money on betting against either team not making the palyoffs. But what is a tat sad is this was done for a business reason not a personal or talent reason. But BBall is a business no bad feeling from anyone ,nothing personal strictly business


    • YearZeroNIN says:

      Hey hey hey, let’s not forget Kevin Martin is still in his twenties; he is in his prime NOW. Im my opinion, Kevin Martin is as good as any NBA shooting guard. He’s just as good as Harden, Monta Ellis, Rudy Gay, Joe Johnson, Eric Gordon, etc. They did the trade also for talent reasons. Kevin Martin is an underrated talented diamond in the rough. He’s just kind of under the radar because he’s only been to the playoffs once with the Sacramento Kings (I took a peek at his career stats).

      • YearZeroNIN says:

        *In my opinion. Sorry, typo.

      • L.A. ALL DAY says:

        “He’s just as good as Harden, Monta Ellis, Rudy Gay, Joe Johnson, Eric Gordon, etc”

        He doesn’t even come close to being on the same level as any of those players you mentioned. What are you on?? Just as good as Harden Ellis Gay Joe? Are you fn kidding me?

      • Game Time says:

        @L.A. All Day. Have you actually watched Martin play? The guy is as good as Gay, Ellis or Joe. I’m sure you’re basing your opinion on him not being a All-Star or not hearing his name come up much. Anyone who follows the league knows how good this guy is, but seeing as you’re from L.A. you probably don’t know anything about ball outside of that city.

  69. bodjee says:

    James Harden wins!

  70. lakerfan101 says:

    i think it was a good trade for their future, but will the current players still be there?? that is the question…….anyways GO LAKERS!!:)

  71. alvin says:

    yes indeed..LAKERS win .

    • dirk45 says:

      “The Lakers, the ultimate in win-now mode,”
      This sentence was very funny after THAT preseason 🙂

  72. VINCeterriffic says:

    The trade really impacts the roster of OKC because of Harden leaving, this season could be the break out season for him. The trade is more of a futuristic concern for the franchise because of the salary cap. When they signed Ibaka and Perkins to extension they know that they migth ahve problems giving an extension to Harden, I guess the decision was not that bad, you get a Martin together with good prospects but OKC might just gave away a chance to go back to the finals. The two LA teams are really good on paper, but we’ll see when the ball rolls what OKC can do without Harden as their sixthman…

  73. Number1HoustonRocketsFan says:

    LOL JK.

  74. Number1HoustonRocketsFan says:


  75. steppx says:

    For once with you, scott, i disagree. I think Harden first off, had the benefit of playing with OKC……..he drew lesser defenders. That wont be the case with Houston. He’s not a franchise guy. I predict he is ok, above average but a dissapointment in houston. Second……..Lamb has terrific upside. I was really surprised and impressed with him in summer league. Thats the jewel in this trade, not KMart. And those two picks. So…….also , Harden was AWFUL in the finals. And i have a feeling that bad taste lingered for Presti and Brooks. And then not sticking around for an ALMOST max deal?? They arent worried, nor should they be, sending him away. They have a decent player, a great shooter, in martin whose numbers are likely to improve a good deal playing in OKC: And they get a potential stud in Lamb. And two picks. A steal by OKC in my opinion.

    • slider821 says:

      agreed. harden had 16ppg playing on the second unit, now he’s a starter surrounded by lesser talent and commanding better defenders. It seems audacious for him to demand a max contract, he only looked as good as he did because he played on the second unit at OKC while the opponents best defenders were on the bench.

      good for him if he proves me wrong about deserving max, but he’ll really need to step up his game and prove he’s a franchise guy and that means 20+ ppg playing a lead role in Houston. He never wanted to be the main guy and now he’s forced to be that guy, all because he didn’t get $2m more per year from OKC?

      He’s now on a team that not even close to title contenders, but it’s apparent he didn’t care about competing for a title after squabbling with OKC over $8m. Good luck Harden and I hope you prove me wrong.

      • A Head Concussion says:

        After being elbowed in the head by “World Peace”, he thought that a peace treaty just wasn’t enough to cut in OKC. Presti did not want to give him max pay and thought maybe that blow to head wasn’t hard enough…

      • ancientrs says:

        Some reports say he was offered as high as 55M per year. Harden just became greedy and prefered money over a possible title. A player should be offered a max contract based on what he has done, not what he might do. 17 ppg and a no all-star bids do not warrant a max contract, as far as I am concerned 52M was way to much. Kevin martin is a good scorer but beyond that he doesn’t do much, I can’t comment on lamb as I dont know much about him, but with kevin durant, westbrook and ibaka the thunder may only need him to score coming off the bench. As a lakers fan, I can’t say that I am feeling to bad for the thunder :p

      • BHajan says:

        I diagree with you especiallyh if you watched the video and okc games that he is actually either gonna score the same amount of points or less. HArden usually doesn’t get his own shots like kobe but needs a leading point guard like russel and since he wont have that he will decrease in stats. I belive that on hardens option he was stupid because of his choice becasue he is goign to drop in all types of rankings. Then on thunder’s position i think they should have waited and tried to keep him because i belive that it is a loss to themself as well because they could’ve waited. Then for housten i believe that it was a horrible trade becasue harden aint gonna do good without all star point guard

    • E-SY says:

      You’re so right! The Lakers are far frome comfortable about this trade! Harden was in the perfect place for him to be, now his career goes straight down hill, I’m afraid. He’s the go-to-guy for Houston, but he has nobody on the team who will draw any other attention.

      This is just a bad move for Harden and OKC will still take the trip to the finals as winners of the Western Conference ’12-’13.