When an absurd blockbuster trade like this happens, there will always be winners and losers of the deal.
Let’s get into the Winners & Losers…
Although people see Caris Levert for Victor Oladipo as an almost 1 for 1 swap, what Indiana have achieved in this deal is getting something for Victor who was probably going to walk in FA and leave Indiana with nothing.
The Pacers have started the season 8-4 without T.J. Warren and Jeremy Lamb off the bench. They could improve drastically with the acquisition of Levert who fits the timeline of this Indiana Pacers team better than Oladipo and on a more team-friendly salary getting paid $18 million a year for the next 3 years. Caris can also play with the bench unit similar to how he has in Brooklyn and help aid the Pacers’ score when Domas and Brogdon are off the floor. I really like the fit and I believe they are a huge winner in this crazy trade.
The Houston Rockets secured the farm in return for James Harden as they should have. The Beard deserved to be traded for a king’s ransom and that is what they got with 4 unprotected first-round draft picks and 4 first-round pick swaps as well as Victor Oladipo to fill a two-guard spot for Houston.
They got back more than enough for Harden, Oladipo is still 28 and serviceable and they have cleared cap space but built a core to build around. A team of Christian Wood, John Wall, and Victor Oladipo with P.J Tucker, Eric Gordon, and DeMarcus Cousins is enough to make the playoffs.
I am currently neutral but my perspective will potentially change either way depending on what happens in this situation. Brooklyn has gone all-in with a championship or bust mentality. I feel with the play styles of the 3 superstars it may not work as Durant, Harden and Irving all need the basketball to be successful. They now no longer have the depth they had as they’ve lost Jarrett Allen, Taurean Prince, and Caris Lavert as well as losing Dinwiddie due to injury at the start of the season.
With this 3 headed monster, there could be chemistry concerns, clashing egos, and needless to forget some of these superstars are ageing (Durant is 32, Harden is 31 and Kyrie the youngest at 28), and they’ve given away picks and pick swaps for the next 8 years. I’m on the fence at the moment as I want to see how it works out.
Currently, they’re losers but they can definitely end up big winners. They just need another move or two. I have no problem with getting Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince for Exum, which I believe was a fantastic move.
I’m just concerned about what direction the Cavs are going in considering they already had a log jam at PF/C and adding Prince a guy who can play the 3 is nice but having Allen and putting him into a rotation alongside Drummond, McGee, Love, and Nance Jr could stunt his development. The Cavs need another move to clear the logjam and then I would look at them more favorably.
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