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Harden confirms he will sign extension with Rockets

Oct 28, 2012, 2:47 PM EDT

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This is not a surprise, there is no way Daryl Morey made the blockbuster trade for James Harden without checking through back channels that he would sign a contract extension there.

He will, Harden said on Sunday. A video of Harden’s meeting with the media is posted on the Rockets official Web site.

“Yes, yes,” Harden said if he had decided to sign with the Rockets. “I’ll let them figure that out with my agent.

He was asked why that appealed to him.

“Just to be secure. I feel like I’m in a great position with a great team, a great group of young guys that are willing to work hard.”

Most player sign their first big extension post rookie contract, because that’s the contract that takes them from making a lot of money — several million a year — to “set my family up for generations” money. (Providing they don’t blow through it, which is another issue, though not necessarily for Harden.) Harden and the thunder couldn’t agree to the terms of that second deal — he turned down a four year, $52 million offer — and that is when the trade came.

Harden also talked about jumping from a title contender to a rebuilding team.

“It’s definitely different, but it’s something that we have to learn to deal with,” Harden said. “This is a business and everything happens for a reason. I’m just going to try to play hard and win games.”

  1. eugenesaxe - Oct 28, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    Some play for rings, some play for money. He threw away a chance at a ring to get an extra 1mil/year for the next four years.
    Have fun spending the cash when your season’s over and OKC is still going strong.

    • urodaddy07 - Oct 28, 2012 at 3:30 PM

      Rings are no doubt very important, but being set for life even more so. The question then is….How muh money do you need to feel you are secure for life?. I suppose it will vary from player to player. The bottom line is that this is a business, so don’t get it twisted, rings are nowhere as important as money. Especially at this stage of a players career. I don’t like it either, but I can’t fault Harden and you can’t fault the OKC front office either, they too respect the bottom line.

      • 00maltliquor - Oct 29, 2012 at 2:41 AM

        What can you do with $60 million that you can’t do with $52 million? Seriously.

        Plus you get playoff bonuses and more money the deeper you go too. Not to mention endorsements you wouldn’t otherwise get if you weren’t on an elite team or a championship team. Hell, Derek Fisher had himself a couple of endorsment deals in his day. Just staying with the Thunder would have made up for the missing 8 or so mill he was craving over the course of time.

        Plus, you could risk the chance of being unhappy always losing year in and year out and having fans turn on you when your contract becomes a hinderance and then you get the wieght of all that pressure, life isn’t all that fun anymore. People were hype on Joe Johnson when he was in PHX, not so much as the Man in ATL. And there are a lot of similarites between those two.

    • money2long - Oct 28, 2012 at 3:39 PM

      somewhere is this all, i feel like harden almost wanted, not necessarily to leave, but a situation where he can truly expand and have the freedom to reach his maximum potential. there is no way that was going to happen playing with russell westrook and the nba’s leading scorer, KD. every time i watched harden play, you can see in his demeanor he felt like he could not be stopped or challenged. when he gets on those hot streaks, watch out.

      there is something that tells me his agent played this whole thing out, like chess. harden could never demand a trade out of a winning situation. he is not selfish, but he may want to be the man, based off the belief he has in his talents. harden’s agent may have just been forcing the thunder’s hand to give his client a max deal with the idea in mind that they would have to trade him knowing they were resistant to that plan.

      harden has become pretty notorious for a sixth man. his beard and the stage he now holds in houston, tied into the marketing surrounding that team with the asian influence, and harden may have carved out a path to endorsement city. overnight, ‘fear the beard’ has become the number one option of an nba team.

      • 00maltliquor - Oct 29, 2012 at 2:49 AM

        Hmmmm….I feel like you’re on to something. +1

      • eventhorizon04 - Oct 29, 2012 at 3:17 AM

        Don’t frequently agree with you, but I agree with you on this one.

        If Harden was happy being the #3 option, he’d leave $1 million per year on the table. I think it was the extra $$$ PLUS the chance to be “The Guy” that led to this.

    • danielcp0303 - Oct 28, 2012 at 4:53 PM

      What an uninformed comment. Harden was working on an extension with the Thunder, when he declined their offer, the Thunder traded him. He didn’t throw away anything, he was traded. Could’ve played out the season with them and they had a chance to match any offer, they didn’t want him for that price.

    • raycharlesj - Oct 28, 2012 at 11:03 PM

      You make enough Money on your contract you can buy your own designer rings and anything else you chose to buy. All players and owners are in business to make money first. I’m sure Ewing and Barkley and Wilkins just to name a few are not too sad they never won a ring but are pretty happy they are rich and still making money.

  2. isujames - Oct 28, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    @^ Don’t kid yourself fella, you would’ve done the $ame thing guy, furthermore OKC will never get pass my Heat.

  3. money2long - Oct 28, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    through all of this trade fiaso, the thing i’m thinking about the most is how durant is taking this.

  4. misterdreamer119 - Oct 28, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    Mistake harden.

  5. phillieseaglessixersflyers - Oct 28, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    Harden is a classy guy so yeah he def let his agent handle his (unvoiced) displeasure with his role. Im sure he will be happy being option 1 and with his money as well. Houston has tons of talent but are very young so he may not actually sniff the playoffs again till this extension is over

  6. cosanostra71 - Oct 28, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    “Just to be secure. I feel like I’m in a great position with a great team, a great group of young guys that are willing to work hard.”

    Didn’t you have that with the Thunder? The difference being, that great group of young guys that were willing to work hard actually were better at basketball?

    ESPN reports Harden turned down $55.5 million over 4 years from OKC. Harden is about the money.

    • danielcp0303 - Oct 28, 2012 at 4:56 PM

      To be fair, the Thunder could’ve upped their offer, or waited to match next summer. And by the way, it’s a huge difference in money. More than half of his game checks will be in the state of Texas, with no state tax.

    • money2long - Oct 28, 2012 at 4:58 PM

      i keep hearing this 2 million-4million dollar difference that was make-it-or-break-it for a contract with okc, but i think harden might be able to get 70+ million from houston, which is a much bigger value than the 50+ million being reported out there.

      • cosanostra71 - Oct 28, 2012 at 5:40 PM

        you think he can get more than the maximum?

      • danielcp0303 - Oct 28, 2012 at 11:06 PM

        Actually Cosanostra71, the max is 5 years about 80 million

  7. edwardsro - Oct 28, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    This is great for the lakers

    • money2long - Oct 28, 2012 at 5:02 PM

      i don’t know how much of a beat okc will skip after this deal. both harden and martin’s scoring cancel each other out and both can get to the free throw line. both can be 3pt threats. harden can create plays for others better, but i think that is where the thunder will value and welcome back eric maynor, who is a traditional facilitating point guard…not the high flying score-first type. also, the move will allow two young rookies in perry jones and lamb more of an opportunity to show what they can bring to this team. while inexperienced, they play in a fast paced system, and both rooks are athletic enough to get easy baskets if they hustle.

    • stayhigh_247 - Oct 28, 2012 at 11:06 PM

      no only the Lakers but the Clippers and the Spurs too. but OKC isn’t going to fall off that much

  8. mikeyarch53 - Oct 28, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    Why shouldn’t he be about the money? It’s his freaking JOB… People forget far too quickly that fact.. And It shows just how much that ring matters to everyone… Now he has the chance to be main man and get paid what he wants…
    Good for him and for everyone saying ” he’s only about the money”
    SHUT UP… If that were you , you’d be looking for a nice place in the Houston area

    • manchestermiracle - Oct 28, 2012 at 5:59 PM

      There are nice places in the Houston area?

      • danielcp0303 - Oct 28, 2012 at 11:06 PM

        Ever been to the Woodlands?

      • heat256 - Oct 29, 2012 at 11:53 AM

        River Oaks area is damn nice too.

  9. deadeyedesign23 - Oct 28, 2012 at 5:18 PM

    The Thunder threw away a ring because they didn’t want to pay 1 mil more a year. Don’t count Harden’s money. I’d like to see the things you’d give up for 4 million dollars. I know his kids will have a ton of money anyway but 4 mil is 4 mil and they’d rather have that than a piece of jewelry. Though if OKC hadn’t fought for this super luxury tax in the CBA this wouldn’t even be an issue.

    • raysfan1 - Oct 28, 2012 at 11:23 PM

      You’re counting the Thunder out way too soon. They aren’t really falling offin their scoring ability this year, and they are stocking up the draft picks. Get used to seeing them at the top of the conference.

    • bougin89 - Oct 29, 2012 at 11:18 AM

      The Thunder would have been paying a lot more than 1 mil a year for Harden after the luxury tax. What about the expiring contracts of Sefalosha, Maynor, etc. Giving that much money to harden would have a ripple effect on the whole roster. They would not be able to keep some very valuable pieces if they resigned Harden even if they do amnesty Perkins after this season.

      • deadeyedesign23 - Oct 29, 2012 at 5:13 PM

        They would be able to keep them if they hadn’t been one of the teams pushing for what is essentially a defacto hard cap with the new luxury tax. If you’re a Thunder fan you have ownership to blame, not a play surrendering money for a team that is too cheap to pay ihm what he’s actually worth.

    • bougin89 - Oct 30, 2012 at 12:05 PM

      You’re not looking at what the smaller market teams fought for if you really believe your last reply. Because the players union wouldn’t accept a hard cap the smaller market teams fought for the luxury tax to prevent teams like the Lakers and Knicks outspending every other team by 50+ million. It has shown signs of working too. Lakers reportedly are looking to cut salary(we’ll see if that actually happens) and the Knicks let Lin walk. Plus if the Lakers want to try to dominate by buying teams they will have to pay the other teams to do it, making it more likely that they will spend more to catch up.

  10. spthegr8 - Oct 28, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    Okc’s front office had been doing a GREAT job, with this team. Getting Perkins was DEFINATLEY a good pick up. But NOT @ the expense of losing harden. It works for me, I’m a laker fan. With harden, they were not gna beat us. No disrespect to k Martin. He is A DAMN good player, but they don’t stand a chance now!!!!!! LAKESHOW ALLDAY!!!!!!!!!!

  11. spthegr8 - Oct 28, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    I mean what were they thinking. Your gna pay EVERYBODY on the team & not pay harden. They must have KNOWN for a fact they were gna lose him, to just give up & trade him that fast!!!

  12. fanz928 - Oct 28, 2012 at 7:23 PM

    Wtf u talking about he getting 8+ million more

  13. fanz928 - Oct 28, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    Young players not going to give up money for a ring maybe when he has a lot of money but not now

  14. dabmasterhap - Oct 28, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    Bad move by Okc… Lakers will win the west and the title.

  15. klownboy - Oct 28, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    I still do not like this trade for OKC. Not one bit.

  16. j0esixpack - Oct 28, 2012 at 11:11 PM

    Rockets fans are so excited they actually have a Harden

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