It was a good trade. In a perfect world, James Harden would still be with the Thunder. But overpaying him would have been unwise. Once the team moved on, it got an extremely good package: a veteran scorer, an ultra-athletic rookie lottery pick and future draft selections that could keep the Thunder's roster stacked for years to come.
Darnell Mayberry, Thunder beat writer
Many fans of James Harden were stunned by the trade, but I'll bet they weren't nearly as stunned as Harden himself. The most harsh reality is Harden isn't going to Houston for just this season, he's going there for five. What sounds more appealing as a player — the next five years with the Rockets, or the next five years with the Thunder? Harden gave his answer by not signing an extension.
John Rohde, Thunder beat writer
The Thunder will miss James Harden — not as much as James Harden misses the Thunder — and won't be quite the title contender it was with Harden. But the Thunder has retained its fiscal sanity, which will help the long-term sustainability of the Thunder to remain in contention.
Berry Tramel, columnist
The Thunder didn't trade away its chance at an NBA championship. Sure, James Harden is an outstanding player, a guy who made game-winning plays for this team. But just because he'll be in Rocket red instead of Thunder blue doesn't mean Oklahoma City becomes insignificant. As long as Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are still around — and I can confirm that they are — the Thunder remains a title contender.
Jenni Carlson, columnist