The defending Western Conference champion Oklahoma City Thunder shipped Sixth Man of the Year James Harden to the Houston Rockets on Saturday for a package highlighted by veteran Kevin Martin and 2012 lottery pick Jeremy Lamb. Houston's deal for Harden completes a massive offseason overhaul for the Rockets, who devoted much of their pre-draft time to clearing roster and cap space for a chance at Dwight Howard. With the deal for Howard never transpiring, Houston general manager Daryl Morey began adding pieces to a roster bereft of talent.
The headline signing this offseason for the Rockets was Jeremy Lin, snatched away from the New York Knicks after his breakout campaign last year. Morey also brought in former Chicago Bulls center Omer Asik to shore up the middle. In addition to the now-dealt Lamb, Houston took Terrence Jones and Royce White in this year's draft, both promising prospects. Along with Harden, the Rockets acquired center Cole Aldrich and forwards Daequan Cook and Lazar Hayward in Saturday night's deal.
The Rockets' roster is now at 20, meaning five players need to be cut by 5 p.m. on Monday. Houston was in for a long season already, but the arrival of Harden to go with Lin and Asik will certainly make Houston an entertaining bunch this year.