Grading the Rockets return for Harden

James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /
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Houston Rockets
General Manager Neil Olshey of the Portland Trail Blazers speaks with General Manager Rafael Stone of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /

The Houston Rockets final GPA

A+  +  B-  = B++

The Rockets’ final grade for the James Harden trade is a 3.5 or a B++. The draft capital they received was tremendous, while the NBA players they got back were a bit underwhelming.

The franchise, in the long term, is in a better place than they were yesterday but their chances of making the playoffs have dropped precipitously. Oladipo is a good player but James Harden is on another level.

The Rockets have to hope that John Wall can step up his playmaking and Oladipo can shoulder a heavy scoring load if the team wants to make a playoff push. The only positive, as this season is concerned, is that the Rockets could field a much-improved defense.

Oladipo is an excellent defender and a backcourt of him and Wall will make life difficult on the backcourts of the Western Conference. Finally, Harden was not playing at full speed this season so the team’s 3-6 start could be somewhat of a mirage and a total collapse towards the lottery shouldn’t be expected.

It’s very difficult to win a trade when you’re the team trading away the superstar. All-NBA talents have the ability to completely change a franchise and Harden is exactly that.

The Rockets won’t be better this season than if they had Harden but they have a plethora of future assets that should lessen the blow of a disappointing season. The franchise’s future looks to be bright even if their present might be a step back from what fans have grown accustomed to.

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The Rockets could have done better in a trade but if the Nets deteriorate later on in the decade and the Rockets hit on their picks, then the Rockets can win this trade. It won’t be until 2030 until we know for sure who won this trade but as of right now a B++ isn’t too bad.