James Harden, Houston Rockets agree on a five-year, $80 Million extension
League sources have confirmed that reigning NBA Sixth Man, James Harden, and the Houston Rockets have agreed to a five-year, $80 Million max contract.
Harden became a Rocket on Saturday, in a deal that garnered the Oklahoma City Thunder Kevin Martin, rookie swingman Jeremy Lamb (not to be confused with Jeremy Lin), two 1st round picks and a second round pick. The Thunder had offered Harden a reported $55 Million last week to stick around and build off of their finals appearance from last season, but Harden declined and forced the Thunder’s hand, leading to this trade.
This move to send Harden to the Rockets was one that was probably inevitable for the Thunder after giving defensive juggernaut, Serge Ibaka, a four-year, $40 Million extension.
Harden will get a chance to be the Rocket’s franchise chip, or will it be Jeremy Lin? Either way, the Rockets have bounced back after falling flat in the Dwight Howard sweepstakes over the Summer, by landing Lin, defensive specialist Omer Asik, and now James Harden, the NBA’s reigning Sixth Man.
Harden averaged a shade under 17 points per game last season and spent plenty of time serving as a facilitator even with point guard Russell Westbrook on the floor. My initial thought was that Houston gave away too much for a guy who served as the Thunder’s 3rd option, but they seem very confident that he can blossom into a perennial all-star and cornerstone of the Houston Rocket’s franchise.