We're going to talk about this James Harden trade for a long time. I have it a feeling it won't go away.
To help us further discuss Saturday night's shenanigans, we consult ESPN's John Hollinger, who thinks Houston emerged from this deal looking mighty nice:
The Rockets are looking good. Reeeeal good. They gave up some choice assets they'd accumulated to make a deal just like this one, and in return they finally have a go-to star on the wings. Harden will have a max extension faster than you can say "beard," and Rockets GM Daryl Morey can finally move forward with the post-Yao strategy he's been working so hard to initiate.
And here's the really scary part: Did you know that Houston still has max cap room next year, even after giving a max deal to Harden? You don't think the Rockets might be an attractive destination with a Harden-Lin backcourt and all those kids (Terrence Jones, Donatas Motiejunas, Royce White, Patrick Patterson, Chandler Parsons)? Yowza.
Obviously a lot of this depends on some unknowns -- how good Harden can be as The Man in Houston, how well Jeremy Lin will play, and how good those other young Rockets really are. I'll have more by Monday on what this means for Houston's prospects this season. But in the long term, you have to love the concept of a slashing, creating Lin-Harden backcourt, Omer and the Random Young Power Forwards playing behind them, and max cap space lingering for a run at an elite forward.
I'm pretty happy about this trade, if you couldn't already tell.