Skip to content

Thunder GM says they are going to work to keep Harden

Aug 20, 2012, 10:20 AM EDT

Oklahoma City Thunder James Harden durin Getty Images

When the Oklahoma City Thunder inked Serge Ibaka to a new four-year, $48 million deal fans of 29 other teams licked their lips and thought “now they can’t keep James Harden, too, can they? Maybe we can get him.”

Chill out. The Thunder plan to keep Harden, too. Just ask Thunder general manager Sam Presti, which is what the Associated Press did.

“We’re going to continue our conversations with James. We very much value him,” Presti said. “We want him to be a part of our organization moving forward. We’re excited that he’s a member of the Thunder and we’re hopeful that he’ll be with us for years moving forward.”

The plan has always been to keep the core together, then fill in around then with whatever they can find affordably. If you don’t think that will work, I’d ask you to look toward Miami. And their ownership has said they are willing to pay the luxury tax to keep the core together. They are in a small market and can’t go Lakers with the payroll, but they can pay more than they have (and they can amnesty Kendrick Perkins to save money).

Ibaka took a little less than he might have gotten on the open market to stay with the Thunder, and they will likely ask Harden to do the same. If he balks at that, they will extend him a qualifying offer and as a restricted free agent next summer Harden will go out and some team (maybe multiple teams) will offer him a max contract. Then the Thunder ownership will have the call to make — at that point it’s beyond what the GM wants, when the checks get that big it’s an ownership call.

And despite what fans are dreaming elsewhere, I’d be shocked to see Harden in anything but a Thunder uniform when this is all done.

Latest Posts
  1. Report: Tim Duncan, Tony Parker part of Spurs pitch to LaMarcus Aldridge (and they may be favorites)

    Jun 30, 2015, 1:01 AM EDT

    duncan-parker Getty Images

    The Spurs are right at the front of the line with the Lakers to win Aldridge over.

  2. Kyle Korver to have elbow surgery, no timetable for return

    Jun 29, 2015, 11:45 PM EDT

    Cleveland Cavaliers v Atlanta Hawks - Game Two Getty Images

    We knew Korver would need ankle surgery, but this is a bit of a surprise.

  3. Report: LaMarcus Aldridge ‘leaning toward’ signing with Lakers

    Jun 29, 2015, 10:45 PM EDT

    Memphis Grizzlies v Portland Trail Blazers - Game Three Getty Images

    Aldridge is expected to leave Portland, and the most recent report has the Lakers as the frontrunners to retain his services.

  4. Report: Kobe Bryant called DeAndre Jordan to recruit him to Lakers

    Jun 29, 2015, 9:45 PM EDT

    kobe

    Clippers remain frontrunners to retain Jordan’s services; Lakers, Mavericks also in the mix.

  5. Report: Pero Antic leaving NBA to play overseas

    Jun 29, 2015, 8:45 PM EDT

    Pero Antic AP

    Antic was with the Hawks the last two seasons.

  6. Report: Chicago Bulls give Jimmy Butler max qualifying offer

    Jun 29, 2015, 6:50 PM EDT

    Atlanta Hawks v Chicago Bulls Getty Images

    The bottom line is this: Butler is going to be a Bull next season.

  7. Suns coach Hornacek tries to quell Bledsoe trade rumors

    Jun 29, 2015, 6:16 PM EDT

    Eric Bledsoe, Jeff Hornacek, Goran Dragic

    The first rule of trading a player is to not look like you want to trade that player.

  8. LaMarcus Aldridge to meet with Raptors? That’s the report.

    Jun 29, 2015, 5:20 PM EDT

    Portland Trail Blazers v Miami Heat Getty Images

    Kind of hard to picture him going to the Raptors considering the other options on the table.

  9. Report: Dwyane Wade will not opt-in with Heat, to become free agent (as expected)

    Jun 29, 2015, 4:31 PM EDT

    Orlando Magic v Miami Heat Getty Images

    The real question for Wade and his effort to leverage the Heat: Who is going to give him more money than Miami?

  10. Report: Knicks front runner to land Arron Afflalo (and Greg Monroe, too)

    Jun 29, 2015, 3:44 PM EDT

    New Orleans Pelicans v Portland Trail Blazers Getty Images

    The report says $12 million a year for Afflalo, that price seems steep.

  11. Report: Teams around league expect Brook Lopez, Thaddeus Young to re-sign with Nets

    Jun 29, 2015, 3:18 PM EDT

    Brook Lopez Brook Lopez

    They are trying to keep those two while dealing Joe Johnson and Deron Williams.

  12. Report: Sacramento Kings may be interested in Eric Bledsoe trade

    Jun 29, 2015, 2:46 PM EDT

    New York Knicks v Phoenix Suns Getty Images

    Expect the Bledsoe drama to play out through the summer. Again.

  13. Report: Luol Deng surprises Miami, opts in for 2015-16 season

    Jun 29, 2015, 1:55 PM EDT

    Miami Heat Media Day Getty Images

    He has more leverage this way, can get a longer deal.

  14. Report: Lakers, Clippers, Spurs, Bulls, Knicks all interested in Caron Butler

    Jun 29, 2015, 1:24 PM EDT

    Caron Butler AP

    Doesn’t Butler strike you as the kind of veteran the Spurs bring in and he’s rejuvenated?

  15. Report: Sense around league is Kevin Love will re-sign with Cavaliers

    Jun 29, 2015, 12:44 PM EDT

    Atlanta Hawks v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game Four Getty Images

    The question is only what length of contract Love will sign.

Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. L. Aldridge (3735)
  2. D. Wade (3715)
  3. J. Embiid (3483)
  4. L. James (3411)
  5. D. Cousins (3293)
  1. K. Love (3191)
  2. K. Bryant (2783)
  3. N. Batum (2331)
  4. K. Durant (2304)
  5. K. Towns (2267)