James Harden is finally traded. Here’s how to watch his first Nets game
If you’re an NBA fan, you’ve probably been on James Harden watch since the Los Angeles Lakers won the 2020 championship. We don’t know how long Harden has been demanding a trade for, but the Houston Chronicle’s Brian T. Smith first reported the story in November.
The riff between James Harden and the Houston Rockets has been happening for a long time. Since Harden joined the team in 2012, they’ve never made it past the conference finals. They’ve only made it that far twice. It’s more likely the Rockets get bounced in the semifinals than reaching the Conference Finals.
However, the wait is finally over, or should we say the wait for James Harden is finally over. On Jan. 13th, the Rockets were finally able to piece a deal sending the MVP to the Brooklyn Nets in a blockbuster four-team trade. The trade would reunite Harden and Kevin Durant, two of the three eventual NBA superstars that played for the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2012.
The massive four-team trade involved the Rockets, Nets, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Indiana Pacers. The biggest move is the Nets received Harden and Cleveland’s 2024 second-round pick.
The Rockets got Victor Oladipo from the Pacers, Dante Exum from Cleveland, Rodions Kurucs from the Nets, four first-round picks, and four pick swaps from the Nets. The Rockets will receive the first-round picks in subsequent even years (2022, 2024, 2026, 2028) and the pick swaps in subsequent odd years (2021, 2023, 2025, 2027). The trade is similar to the one between the Pacers and Los Angeles Lakers for Paul George.
Cleveland received Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince from Brooklyn. Finally, the Pacers got Caris LeVert from the Nets and Houston’s 2023 second-round pick. Another piece of the puzzle, according to ESPN, is the Pacers flipped Oladipo to the Rockets for LeVert, in a separate unannounced trade.
When will Harden take the court?
In theory, Harden could take the floor during the Brooklyn Nets’ next game. They’re currently scheduled to play against the Orlando Magic on Jan. 16th, pending any coronavirus related postponements. However, James Harden is listed as day-to-day with an ankle injury.
It’s not unlikely he’s overplaying the severity of the injury to get out of playing for Houston while trade negotiations were still ongoing. No matter if he’s faking it or not, the Nets also listed Harden as day-to-day. But with Kyrie Irving missing in action, they’ll desperately need the help of their newest star.
How to watch Harden’s first game
James Harden’s first game as a Net won’t have a national broadcast. It will be on local channels in Florida and New York, making it hard for NBA fans around the county to tune in.
The best way to watch all of the NBA games is through NBA League Pass. The only caveat is you won’t get local teams. So if you aren’t in the New York City or Orlando area, this is the best option. NBA League pass costs $120 a year for all the games for a single team, $200 for every team, or $250 for every team with no commercials. There is also the option to add NBA TV for an additional $60.
If you’re looking for an online stream, unfortunately – much like its football counterpart /r/NFLstreams – Reddit banned the popular subreddit /r/NBAstreams. However, sportsurge.net is the website equivalent to the beloved subreddits. They sort their content based on the sport currently going, so there’s football, basketball, and hockey up right now.
If you’re in Brooklyn’s or Orlando’s market and don’t want to pay those outrageous cable prices, then there are a few options for you. Hulu + Live TV & YouTube TV are the best alternatives for cord cutters. Both cost $65 a month, and there are a few pros and cons to each.
Hulu + Live TV is available in the Disney Bundle with Disney+ & ESPN+ and allows you to personalize notifications to your favorite team. However, it comes with twenty fewer channels and significantly less DVR space compared to YouTube TV.