Brooklyn Nets: 3 players who have been positively impacted by James Harden trade

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 16: James Harden #13, Kevin Durant #7, Joe Harris #12, and Jeff Green #8 of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 16: James Harden #13, Kevin Durant #7, Joe Harris #12, and Jeff Green #8 of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /
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The Brooklyn Nets swung for the fences, choosing to trade most of their bench and draft capital to acquire James Harden from the Houston Rockets, put him alongside Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, and form one of the greatest offensive trios in NBA history. Brooklyn has gone 8-6 since the trade, but all three haven’t always been active at the same time.

Harden might not be scoring as much as he did in Houston, as evidenced by his 23.3 points per game average, but he’s leading the NBA in assists, having averaged an eye-popping 11.3 per game since he ended up in Brooklyn. This ability to keep the ball moving and make incisive passes has the offense humming along.

Harden is still providing Steve Nash with his trademark blend of clutch scoring and tremendous passing. No player has scored more points in the clutch than The Beard has this season, and his presence has clearly rubbed off on other Nets. The team is 4-1 when all three stars are playing together.

While the presence of another ball-dominant player could’ve been catastrophic for the Brooklyn, these three players have actually seen their productivity increase.

These three Brooklyn Nets have played better alongside James Harden.

Bruce Brown, Nets
Bruce Brown #1 of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

3. Bruce Brown

While Brown, who was acquired for Dzanan Musa in a lopsided deal, averaged just under nine points per game with the Detroit Pistons, the Nets didn’t acquire the 6-foot-4 guard for his offense. Still, thanks to Harden attracting a ton of defensive attention, Brown has been able to score at a very efficient clip.

He’s averaging 6.8 points per game and 4.7 boards per game on 58% shooting since Harden’s debut against the Orlando Magic. While not a tremendous shooter, the opposing defense hanging out near the perimeter has allowed Brown to get some uncontested looks when cutting to the basket.

Brown can focus on the defensive end thanks to Harden.

The former Miami Hurricane struggled to get on the court early in the season, but he’s since become an indispensable member of the lineup because of his ability to guard several different positions on the defensive side of the ball and finish on offense without requiring a lot of touches.

While Brooklyn’s bench has been the subject of constant irritation this season, Brown has been one of the few that has stepped up and proven he can be a quality role player on this team. If not for the Harden trade forcing him into the rotation, Brown might’ve spent the last few games twiddling his thumbs on the bench.