By Trevor Zickgraf, Project Spurs.com
Over the weekend, while members of the San Antonio Spurs did a little team bonding over some Halloween costumes, the Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets completed a trade that shocked the basketball world most because of timing. Harden and the Thunder couldn't come to a contract extension agreement and so he was very quickly traded, along with Daequan Cook, Lazur Haywood and Cole Aldridge for Jeremy Lamb, Kevin Martin and two 2013 draft picks. This trade has short term and long term implications for not just the Thunder, but the other championship contenders around the league including the Spurs.
The 2012-2013 Season:
At first glance, this trade looks like a huge win for the Spurs as they look to overcome the team that stood in the way of their return to the NBA Finals. Harden wasn't the biggest problem for the Spurs, that was Durant, but he was a problem for sure. Who could forget this ridiculousness? So getting rid of the Thunder's answer to Manu Ginobili is a good thing for the Spurs. Harden's trade gives the Spurs pole position for the number one seed in the Western Conference. The Lakers and Thunder are both poised to have less than ideal starts as they integrate new players in to their system and in the Lakers' case, implement a partially new offense. Meanwhile, barring an injury, the Spurs should (should being the key word) start strong and allow their depth to carry them through the regular season at a near 60 win clip.
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