James Harden is headed to the Brooklyn Nets, the original team he wanted to from the start. However, the deal was a bit complicated and required four teams to consummate.

The James Harden trade was first reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic. The Nets had to sacrifice several players and pick to get the 2018 NBA MVP. Gone are Caris LeVert, Jarret Allen, Taurean Prince and Rodion Kuruc. Brooklyn also sent three unprotected first-round picks to the Rockets.

Also, surprising was the Indiana Pacers sending Victor Oladipo to Houston. Though trades involving the 28-year-old guard were in the air since last year, no one expected that to happen as part of the Harden trade.

Oladipo thus gets a new lease on life and joins forces with a new core of players. That includes John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Christian Wood. Dante Exum was also acquired by Houston since the Cleveland Cavaliers were part of the blockbuster trade.

The Cavs got Allen and Prince while the Pacers added LeVert to their roster plus a future second-rounder when the smoke cleared.

The addition of Harden makes the Nets a whole lot formidable although there are issues that remain unsettled. Kyrie Irving remains out due to personal reasons although he has been under fire as of late.

The all-star guard is being investigated after viral videos showed him partying with his sister without a face mask. The Brooklyn Nets are being patient with “Uncle Drew” but a recent report may tilt that in the opposite direction.

According to Jason Dumas of Kron4News, Irving is willing to sit out the rest of the season according to people close to the one-time NBA champion. If this holds, the Nets could be in trouble.

For now, the Harden deal can address a big void in terms of offense. “The Beard” will reunite with former OKC Thunder teammate Kevin Durant and former Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni who is probably one of the best people to bring the best out of Harden.

Aside from the Irving dilemma, the Nets need to add more players to the mix. With four players sent packing, they have gaping holes in the rotation. Brooklyn could resort to the minimum exception and possibly a $5.7 million disabled player exception route.

The Nets should know by now that having more available bodies is essential especially with the COVID-19 factor getting out of hand. There are games where players are forced to sit out, a reason why games are postponed. Brooklyn needs to make sure that there are at least eight available players ready every night – not to mention filling key positions left by LeVert, Allen and Prince.

James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets is defended by Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets
James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets is defended by Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets Getty Images | Steven Ryan

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