James Harden Trade: Hawks will have one less free agent option next summer

Mike DiNovo-US PRESSWIRE

James Harden's trade to the Houston Rockets could leave the Hawks with one less free agent option next season.

The Atlanta Hawks will get one of the first looks at James Harden in a Rockets uniform when Atlanta hosts Houston in its 2012 season opener. Harden was traded to the Rockets after turning down a less than the max extension offer from the Thunder. Houston plans to offer Harden a four-year $60 million contract which will take one of the top restricted free agent players off the board.

Also headed to Houston in the trade are Cole Aldridge, Daequan Cook and Lazar Hayward. Houston sends Kevin Martin and Jeremy Lamp to Oklahoma City along with two-first round picks and a second-round pick.

Soon after taking over as Hawks' GM, Danny Ferry cleared up Atlanta's financial future with the trades of Joe Johnson and Marvin Williams. The Hawks are expected to be a major player when free agency opens next summer and could have potentially been one of James Harden's suitors.

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