Before he was traded to the Rockets, James Harden was viewed as the third member of the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Big Three.
He had been drafted by the organization and had become one of their best playmakers. He was a player that was able to create his own shot in addition to creating shots for his teammates.
These abilities are what made Harden such a valuable player and also why he feels that he should’ve been offered a max contract by OKC. When the Thunder offered him a five year $52 million deal James Harden declined which forced Thunder management to trade him.
They knew it would be too expensive to keep Harden in their long term plans and chose to trade him to help guarantee that Oklahoma City would be a power in the Western Conference for many years to come. The Thunder believe that the addition of Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb, and two future first round picks will be enough to make up for the loss of the NBA’s reigning Sixth-Man of the Year.