Thunder trade Harden to Rockets

Posted: October 28, 2012

Unable to work out an extension with James Harden, the Oklahoma City Thunder traded the Sixth Man of the Year to the Houston Rockets on Saturday night, breaking up the young core of the Western Conference champions.

The Thunder acquired guards Kevin Martin and Jeremy Lamb, two first-round picks, and a second-round pick in the surprising deal. Oklahoma City also sent center Cole Aldrich and forwards Daequan Cook and Lazar Hayward to Houston.

The Oct. 31 deadline to extend Harden or allow him to become a restricted free agent in July had hung over the Thunder since camp opened.

The small-market Thunder had already signed Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Serge Ibaka to long-term deals, and apparently realized Harden was going to want a bigger salary than they would offer.

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