The Brooklyn Nets landed James Harden in a massive trade with the Houston Rockets, which puts them firmly as a legitimate contender if they can hash out the chemistry on the roster. Despite the Nets getting Harden, Magic Johnson isn’t wavering his pick of the Los Angeles Lakers to repeat as NBA champions this season.
James Harden getting traded to the Brooklyn Nets to join KD and Kyrie will be special to watch… but I’m still picking the @Lakers to win the Championship 😁
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 14, 2021
Without a doubt, Harden joining the Nets gives them a talented trio alongside the likes of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Though, Irving has been absent from the team in the past week due to personal reasons, leaving many to wonder when he’ll rejoin them.
Nevertheless, even the duo of Durant and Harden could be a dangerous one in the Eastern Conference. Before Harden makes his debut with Brooklyn, the Nets currently boast a 7-6 record after two consecutive wins over the Denver Nuggets and the New York Knicks despite missing Irving.
However, the Lakers are the reigning NBA champions and it appears they’ve gotten even better from a season ago. The additions of Dennis Schroder, Montrezl Harrell, Marc Gasol, and Wesley Matthews, along with the emergence of Talen Horton-Tucker gives Los Angeles an extremely deep roster.
Of course, the duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis is still the best in the NBA, even with James turning 36 years old in December. While the Nets were busy acquiring Harden, the Lakers were able to extend their road record to 7-0 to begin the season, giving them a league’s best 10-3 record overall.
There’s reason to believe that Brooklyn could compete for an NBA title if everything goes according to plan with the addition of Harden. With that being said, Johnson remains confident that his Lakers will reign supreme for the second consecutive season.