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by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Katrina McClain, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.

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Rockets Complete Three-Team Trade

POSTED: January 14, 2021 -- 12:32 p.m. CT

NOTE: The Caris LeVert - Victor Oladipo trade will be announced in a separate transaction.

The Houston Rockets today announced they have completed a three-team trade with Brooklyn and Cleveland. The Rockets traded guard James Harden to the Nets while acquiring guard Caris LeVert (Care-iss la-VERT) and forward Rodions Kurucs (RO-dee-ahns KOO-rootz) from Brooklyn along with guard Danté Exum from the Cavaliers.

The Rockets also acquired the following draft assets:

"On behalf of the entire Rockets organization and the City of Houston, I'd like to thank James Harden for an amazing eight-plus seasons in a Rockets uniform," said Rockets owner Tilman J. Fertitta. "James has provided us with so many great memories as we’ve watched him grow from Sixth Man of the Year to a perennial All-Star and MVP. My family and I also want to thank James for his many off the court contributions, including generous charitable donations and multiple annual community events. We wish James the best of luck and will always be grateful for the memories."

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LeVert (6'6", 205) was originally the 20th overall pick by Indiana in the 2016 NBA Draft before his rights were traded to Brooklyn. In 225 career games with 96 starts, he is averaging 13.1 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.1 steals. LeVert averaged 18.7 points per game last season, including 25.0 points per game during the seeding schedule in Orlando. LeVert's contract runs through the 2022-2023 season.

Exum (6'5", 214) was the fifth overall pick by Utah in the 2014 NBA Draft. In 245 career games with 72 starts, the 25-year-old is averaging 5.7 points, 2.1 assists, and 1.8 rebounds in 18.6 minutes per game. Over the past three seasons, Exum averaged 14.6 ppg, 5.0 assists per game, and 4.2 rebounds per game per 36 minutes played. Exum is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2020-2021 season.

Kurucs (6'9", 230) was the 40th overall pick by Brooklyn in the 2018 NBA Draft. In 115 games with 55 starts, the 22-year-old is averaging 6.5 points, and 3.4 rebounds in 17.3 minutes per game. Over his first two seasons, Kurucs averaged 13.6 ppg, 7.0 rebounds per game, and 1.9 assists per game per 36 minutes played. Kurucs's contract has a team option for the 2021-2022 season.

Harden leaves as the second-leading scorer in Rockets history with 18,365 points. Harden was an All-Star in each of his first eight seasons with Houston and was named MVP in 2017-18.

In a related move, the Rockets have waived forward Bruno Caboclo.

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