With the recent shocking trade of James Harden from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Houston Rockets…. The question comes up, what does this trade do to the landscape of the NBA? With OKC coming off last years tough loss in the Finals, it seemed like a no-brainer the team would keep its young stars together for another run. However with Harden’s uncharacteristic disappearing act in the Miami Heat series, perhaps the team and General Manager Sam Presti had second thoughts of offering Harden the max contract he was looking for. In the end the trade was made to send James Harden along with Daequan Cook, Cole Aldrich, and Lazar Hayward to the Houston Rockets in exchange for Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb, two first-round picks, and a second-round pick. After looking at the trade I honestly feel OKC came out on top in the deal. While managing to avoid a salary cap crisis in not signing Harden, OKC was able to obtain a proven scorer/defender in Kevin Martin and a solid all around prospect in Jeremy Lamb. On top of that, the picks OKC received may turn out to be lottery picks based on the uncertainty of the Houston Rockets future. If it was up to me I would hand Sam Presti the Executive of the Year Award right now… the man responsible for bringing Durant, Westbrook, Harden, Ibaka, Etc. to OKC has put the Thunder in a great position to compete for championships in the years to come. Although OKC was the winner in the trade, I respect what the Rockets organization is trying to do. With the acquisition of Jeremy Lin in the off-season and the pursuit of big names like Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum, it is clear Houston ownership is focused on winning now. I don’t feel that James Harden puts the Rockets in a position to contend this year, but he is another solid piece to build on for the future. If Houston could obtain a strong low-post presence to go with the backcourt of Lin and Harden… the Rockets could look to challenge down the road in the Western Conference.