The Thunder looked like they had all the key components of a championship team going into the season with a complete point guard in Russell Westbrook, a defensive-minded shooting guard in Thabo Sefelosha, an MVP caliber, pure scoring forward in Kevin Durant, a shot blocking and mid-range shooting power forward in Serge Ibaka, an excellent post defender and veteran center in Kendrick Perkins in the starting lineup to go along with one of the best sixth mans in basketball in James Harden. However, today Oklahoma City lost James Harden who some people consider the third branch of the big three for the Thunder. This season, being Harden's last season under his current contract, caused the Thunder to offer Harden an extension worth $52 million dollars over a span of 4 years. Harden declined and sources say he was looking for somewhere around $60 million. Hours later, he's the headline in a key trade involving the Houston Rockets. Oklahoma City sent James Harden, Cole Aldrich, Lazar Hayward, and Daquan Cook to the Houston Rockets in exchange for Kevin Martin, rookie first round pick Jeremy Lamb, two number one picks, and a number two pick. With this trade, Houston picks up the year left on Harden while losing their first round pick last season, Jeremy Lamb. With this trade, our projections say Houston's lineup would be:
Oklahoma City's would not change as it would still be Westbrook, Sefelosha, Durant, Ibaka, Perkins. Martin could be worked into the 2 slot.