Why The James Harden Trade Benefits The Lakers More Than Any Other NBA Team

For one of the only times during the off-season something major has happened and it had nothing to do with the Lakers. Upon further examination it is pretty obvious though that this trade has quite a lot of things that deal with the Lakers.  Many people including myself believed that the Thunder would be the ones to stop the Lakers run at a title, at least in the Western Conference. This trade changes things.

James Harden may or may not have been able to come to terms before the deadline assessed, but to trade him I still find was the wrong idea.  I think that eventually he would have re-signed with the Thunder even after he had tested the free agent market.  He would have discovered that playing with a team that has a chance to win all the time was much better than taking the money.  Alas, here we are with Harden no longer a member of the Thunder.

So how does this affect the Laker/Thunder matchup.  It swings the pendulum in the direction of the Lakers.  No longer do the Lakers have to worry about stopping the Three-Headed offensive juggernaut that the Thunder possessed.  Kevin Martin is a decent scorer, but let's be honest here, he is in no way on the same level as Harden.  Especially on the defensive end.  Martin is a complete defensive liability.

The Lakers can now matchup rather favorably with the Thunder.  Having Kobe guard Westbrook and Metta try to slow down Durant while Nash can stay in front of Sefalosha or Martin.  I like those match-ups just fine.  All the way down the roster I like what this trade means to the Lakers.  I am especially happy that we don't have to see Harden terrorize the Lakers the way he seemed to do with ease the last couple of seasons.  He seemed to have the Lakers number and now that he is on the Houston Rockets I will be happy to see him put up 50 points in a 20 point loss for his team.

The Lakers just went from 2nd best in the West to the favorites to make it to the Finals.  Luckily for the Thunder they may have gotten enough out of the trade to keep their shelves well stocked for the next 5 to 7 years.  The draft picks and such that were also part of the trade were definitely helpful.   But, at this point I could care less about the distant future because this trade helps the Lakers right now.  I think it is going to be a great season and we will see what happens starting tomorrow night against the new look, Dirk-less, Dallas Mavericks.  It should be entertaining nonetheless.

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