OKC Thunder send sixth man Harden to Houston Rockets

OKC Thunder send sixth man Harden to Houston Rockets
Oklahoma City Thunder's James Harden smiles as he answers a question during their NBA basketball media day in Oklahoma City, Monday, Oct. 1, 2012. The Sixth Man of the Year is holding out hope that he�ll reach terms on a contract extension with the Thunder by the end of the month. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

The Oklahoma City Thunder have traded Sixth Man of the Year James Harden to the Houston Rockets, breaking up the young core of the Western Conference champions.

The Thunder acquired guards Kevin Martin and Jeremy Lamb, two first-round picks and a second-round pick in the surprising deal that was completed Saturday night. Oklahoma City also sent center Cole Aldrich, and forwards Daequan Cook and Lazar Hayward to Houston. Yahoo! Sports first reported the trade.

Harden will become a free agent next summer if Houston doesn't sign him to an extension by Oct. 31.

The Thunder had already signed Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka to long-term deals, and apparently realized Harden was going to want a bigger salary than they would offer.