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Report: James Harden agrees to 5-year, $80 million deal with Houston

Oct 31, 2012, 3:34 PM EDT

James Harden

A difference over dollars was the entire reason that the Thunder traded James Harden to the Rockets, so the news is no surprise, but it has now been confirmed.

Harden has agreed to a full max contract extension with the Rockets, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. The deal is for five years and $80 million, and is expected to be signed shortly.

Harden was traded to Houston after he and the Thunder couldn’t come to terms on this very extension. Harden wanted the max, and knew he’d get it on the open market next summer if Oklahoma City was unwilling to pay it, so that was his end game in the negotiation process.

The Thunder wanted Harden to sacrifice a few million to keep the core of the team together, one that is among the youngest and most talented in the league, and made it to the NBA Finals just last season. But Harden wanted the money — and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

He has it now in Houston, along with a chance to not only crack the starting lineup, but to be the face of the franchise for the forseeable immediate future.

  1. jedicurt - Oct 31, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    That beard is going to get nasty in the humid air of Houston…

  2. imthedudedude - Oct 31, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    Between Linsanity sales and now the Beard sales, Houston doesn’t care what happens on the court, they have marketing dreams. Cha-Ching Cha -Ching who cares about winning anymore?

  3. staff2cj - Oct 31, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    Bet that Beard stink!!! Great move my OKC to moved this guy. He’ll have to adjust to losing for awhile.

  4. haterhurter937 - Oct 31, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    after a 25-30 wins season there will be no cha-ching in houston.

  5. money2long - Oct 31, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    what would you guys have done in harden’s shoes had you knew 80 mil was waiting for you ?

    • drunkenjunk - Oct 31, 2012 at 7:52 PM

      that and he’s the alpha dog now. nobody should criticize him for getting paid.

    • 00maltliquor - Oct 31, 2012 at 10:41 PM

      Real talk, I would have took the OKC offer and still made the mega-millions, but had a chance to be part of NBA history and move forward with what might have been a dynasty and have a chance to become a legend with that core the next ten years. Call me stupid, but that’s exactly what I would have done.

    • bougin89 - Nov 1, 2012 at 10:30 AM

      I would have taken the money if I were Harden. Even if Houston could only offer 4 years and 60 million I wouldn’t blame Harden for taking the money just as I wouldn’t blame OKC for not offering the max for 4 years.

  6. skinsfanwill - Oct 31, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    Houston has made stupid deals. Lin and Harden are both waaaaaaay overrated. they give away Lowry, martin, Lee, Scola. A team that was one man short of being playoff bound and get Asik, Harden and Lin. Terrible moves. Good luck with that.

    • money2long - Oct 31, 2012 at 4:11 PM

      keep in mind they made all those moves to get a superstar. this is becoming a superstars league. and houston had to make sacrifices. they know just like the rest of us those are some good players they’ve been letting go..that’s why they are all on other people’s teams. they got a superstar they were looking for in harden. they need to find someone else..and then they can begin to fill in the pieces again in regards to a supporting cast.

    • bigmeechy74 - Oct 31, 2012 at 5:21 PM

      I agree about lin being over rated but harden is 23 and one of the most highly efficient players in the entire league. Tell me another shooting guard you would rather have… I’m waiting…

  7. 20dollardinners - Oct 31, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    Harden is not a full max player. They will regret this in 2 years.

  8. jgray30 - Oct 31, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    I bet they regret it by the end of this season.

  9. cantonbound13 - Oct 31, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    They spent a fortune on Lin, Askik & Harden. Morley will be fired soon.

  10. halfbaht - Oct 31, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    Seems Houston don’t mind throwing around a bit of coin. Seems they’re not worried about getting the most bang for that buck though. If Lin and Harden work well as a unit, good for Houston, but it’s a big risk, a risk most teams wouldn’t make for the price

  11. florida727 - Oct 31, 2012 at 5:02 PM

    “…along with a chance to not only crack the starting lineup, but to be the face of the franchise for the forseeable immediate future.” Forgot one important word in the middle of the sentence, losing. He can be the face of this LOSING franchise for the foreseeable future.

    Seriously, $55 million and a chance to win a title every year for the next “x” number of years, or $80 million and watch someone else hoist a trophy every year? How much is enough. You can’t spend $55 million (unless of course you’re Charles Barkley and you move to Vegas). It’s freaking Monopoly money at that point. I’d rather play on a winner.

    • bigmeechy74 - Oct 31, 2012 at 5:23 PM

      I guess you haven’t seen all those stories of athletes going broke huh

  12. sweetnlow44 - Oct 31, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    That’s a lot of money for a bench player.

  13. rickyspanish - Oct 31, 2012 at 5:41 PM


    Maybe he was so efficient because he was on a good team. He’s going to be the primary focus of every team’s defense now. When Miami decided to shut him down, Harden disappeared.

  14. almanak209 - Oct 31, 2012 at 6:07 PM

    Harden wasn’t the only player on OKC to not show up in the Finals. Also dont forget what he did to the Spurs and Lakers kast post season.And he was on the second unit, not with the starters so the “he was on a good team” argument is mute.

  15. raycharlesj - Oct 31, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    This is a smart move for Houston this guy is 6’5″ 220lbs and can play 2 ( maybe even small forward) so 3 positions on the floor at 23 years old and has already made a name for himself behind 2 superstars that get most of the attention and he still managed to make good contributions in spite of what he did in his first finals appearance he help his team get there!!! at 23 years old that alone was a major step just getting there not a bad start to a career.

  16. mikeyarch53 - Oct 31, 2012 at 7:57 PM

    Hey Flordia727… You sir, are an idiot!
    There is a huge difference in 55 and 80 million… You think you would turn down 25million? I highly doubt that… For what reason? To Hoist up a trophy that has no meaning IN REAL LIFE!
    Get over yourself and stop acting like a damn trophy means so much… Money is and always will be the end game for ALL the players… Now, once they already have signed that max deal, the next contract they may give up a few Million for the meaningLESS trophy

    • bougin89 - Nov 1, 2012 at 12:33 PM

      Although I 100% agree that Harden should not pass up $25 million, I know I surely wouldn’t, I do think you miss the point on winning a ring. Just to play devil’s advocate here winning a ring alone can lead to endorsements that even a player of Harden’s value would not be able to get, although it wouldn’t equal $25 million you could have long term endorsement deals you would not otherwise see. Also, athletes are driven by multiple factors. I would think the first two would be 1) Money 1a) Money 2)Being the best. I think Harden or any other athlete would put a considerable price on winning a championship, but I don’t think it is $25 million as you stated.

      • Kurt Helin - Nov 1, 2012 at 9:52 PM

        The $25 million is guaranteed, the ring is not.

  17. rocketsbb - Oct 31, 2012 at 8:53 PM

    Anyone watching the game right now hardens got 20 points and 5 assists and its halftime….

  18. therealgts - Oct 31, 2012 at 9:14 PM

    Agreed. No one in their right mind walks away from 25 mil. I’m sick of all these self righteous haters. Harden had the choice between being paid like the third best player on a team, which he was, or trying to be the man and get paid. Do I think he is worth a max deal? No. But if Joe Johnson is he sure as hell is. Anyone who faults him for taking the money can stfu

  19. Gordon - Oct 31, 2012 at 9:33 PM

    That’s a lot of cash or a guy who’s never started in the pros. Good for him, getting a bigger contract. No reasonable person would take $55 mil, when they can get $80 mil.

  20. therealgts - Oct 31, 2012 at 10:38 PM

    Looks like he is worth every penny after tonight

  21. doublebro - Oct 31, 2012 at 10:50 PM

    Ok 00maltliquor….you sir are STUPID

  22. scalfor3 - Oct 31, 2012 at 11:15 PM

    Not just the money. He gets the chance in Houston to break out as one of the top 5-10 players in the league. He’d always be the third wheel in OKC. While he is an unselfish player and showed it by coming off the bench with the Thunder, he has the alpha dog capability to take over and carry a team. Look at what he did tonight for example.

  23. dakota0206 - Oct 31, 2012 at 11:37 PM

    rumor here is that Harden is agent shopping.

    The rumor is Harden wanted wanted to stay in OKC. He would have agreed to the deal OKC offered except that his agent convinced him OKC was bluffing about the final offer and would give him max.

    The rest is history so to speak. I would not be surprised to see him with a new agent soon.

    I think the trade was brilliant. Talk about buying low and selling high. The Thunder have a crazy good bench that will only get deeper in the next two years!

    Sam Presti > James Harden (or his agent)

  24. halfcourthero - Nov 1, 2012 at 7:37 AM

    I guess all of those people who said he was overrated didn’t watch that pistons game tonight huh? 37 pts 12 ast 7 boards and the team isn’t half bad either… They could easily compete for a lower tier playoff spot sometimes you have to make a change in order to get better… He made the right move 80 mil and a chance to be the man; I’ll take that over 53 mil and me being the 3rd fiddle every time… Everyone Who says differently is lying to themselves especially about taking the money!!!

    • money2long - Nov 1, 2012 at 4:05 PM

      rockets vs thunder..1st round series..imagine?

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