I am usually someone who hates people who jump on bandwagons. It’s amazing how I have met about 20 Miami Heat fans in my entire 32 years of existence, and two years ago they started multiplying like gremlins. Just as in the NFL, all the San Francisco 49ers fans showed back up last year.

With that said, I became a complete hypocrite on that argument last season when I jumped, and in the NBA Finals, got run over by, the Oklahoma City Thunder bandwagon. I, like many others, saw another young, talented team who could contend with Miami for years to come. These two looked to be our Celtics-Lakers rivalry for at least the next 3-5 years.

That may have all changed this week, when Oklahoma announced the trade of “Sixth Man of the YearJames Harden.

Unable to agree on an extension, OKC traded the backup star, sending him to the Houston Rockets, in exchange  for G Kevin Martin, G Jeremy Lamb, two first-round draft picks and a second-round draft pick.

While many of the views around the transaction suggest that OKC was the winner in the trade, I feel that both sides have lost.

JAMES HARDEN. Loser. I understand he feels he should be in a starting role, but he should’ve paid attention to a few things in their Western Conference Finals series. Manu Ginobili, who is arguably the most valuable player on the San Antonio Spurs, and if not, only second to Tim Duncan, has been listed as a 6th man for years. But he still plays starter minutes, and he still makes starter money. And he is a huge part in the Championship chemistry in San Antonio. Not to mention, he signs a multi-year deal with Houston. A team who entered the 2012 season with 13 new players on the roster, and Jeremy Lin as their marquee name. I really don’t believe he will see the playoffs again in the next 5 years.

MISS – I could be proven wrong if a few things happen. Center Dwight Howard showed a lot of interest in playing for Houston this summer. If the Lakers don’t pan out, and with Kobe only around for two more seasons, he could still end up there. Howard, Lin, and Harden would be a sweet trio.

OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER. Losers. We heard all the stories about how OKC was built from the Draft up, and not through Free Agency. We thought they were a “family” of young talent, growing together, and would be a force for years to come. We didn’t know that contract talks could break down so easily, and one of the family could be shipped away so quickly. If so, why didn’t OKC get more for him? I personally thought they should’ve taken Serg Ibaka, Kendrick Perkins, and a slew of draft picks and chased after Dwight Howard this summer. Knowing what we know now, Harden should’ve been offered to Orlando. Imagine Howard, Durant, and Westbrook on the court together. Miami would’ve been in trouble.

MISS – I could be proven wrong in this case also, depending on the turnout of this season. It’s Finals or nothing when it comes to this Harden trade. Although, based on the way Harden played in the West Conference Championship and NBA Finals, maybe Lamb and Martin give a better showing, and we completely forget the “bearded one”. But that’s a big “maybe”.



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