Aug 18, 2012, 5:46 PM EST
With Serge Ibaka officially signed to a four-year extension worth a reported $48 millon with the Oklahoma City Thunder, a mighty cry went out across the land. “James Harden is available!” Naturally, if the Thunder paid Ibaka more than some measley sum, there was no way that they would be able to retain Harden. They made their choice, and now they have to suffer the consequences, and lose Harden.
Real quick question.
The idea is that Harden and Ibaka on big-to-max extensions/new deals will put the Thunder into such financial constraints that they won’t be able to remain stable. They won’t be able to pay the luxury tax, because… they’re a small market? They will want the financial flexibility… to sign lesser players?
Here, let Daily Thunder sort this out for you.
The Thunder are locked in on getting a deal done with Harden as well. There’s never been any of this “Harden or Ibaka?” talk within the organization. It’s all about keeping both and while Presti has always acknowledged challenges in doing that, he’s never shied away from that being the goal.
“We’re going to continue our conversations with James. We very much value him,” Presti said. “We want him to be part of the organization moving forward. We’re excited he’s a member of the Thunder and we hope he’ll be with us for years moving forward.”
It’s true that ownership always talks big about spending and actually doing it is another matter. It’s true that management always says it’s going to keep players until it doesn’t get done. And it wouldn’t shock anyone for the Thunder to ship Harden out in a trade suddenly. After all, there were whispers of him in talks around the trade deadline and at the draft. It’s unlikely. But it’s possible. No one’s going to be surprised if Harden’s not with the Thunder next year. But you shouldn’t be shocked if he is, either.
Limited ability to stock the roster behind the big four? Have you been paying attention? You have to have three stars and a good role player to win in this league now. That’s how it’s built. And the Thunder have proven they can get guys at the back of the line and still stock the roster.
There’s no sure thing with this situation. But don’t think that just because Ibaka got his that Harden will have to from someone else. This is the first time we’ve seen Clay Bennett and company in this situation. Let’s see what happens.
- Duke’s Jabari Parker doesn’t back away from Carmelo Anthony comparison 5
- Michael Carter-Williams returns to Sixers lineup Friday against Nets 5
- Report: Bulls not looking to trade Luol Deng. Why would you think that? 14
- Kendrick Perkins tells Joakim Noah to “get your a– up out’ of Thunder locker room 35
- The Extra Pass: Chicago’s never-ending story, plus Thursday’s recaps 2
- Kobe Bryant is out six weeks with fracture in the left knee (70)
- LeBron did foul Paul George on final shot but there was no call (VIDEO) (60)
- Chicago columnist hammers Derrick Rose as no longer humble star (56)
- Report: Heat have interest in Celtics’ Jordan Crawford (50)
- LeBron angrily goes after Mario Chalmers on the Heat bench (VIDEO) (50)