Monday, October 29th, 2012 at 9:00 am  |  48 responses

James Harden to Sign Max Deal With Houston Rockets

by Marcel Mutoni@marcel_mutoni

James Harden’s shocking departure from Oklahoma essentially came down to money.

The Thunder weren’t willing to max him out and incur harsh financial penalties down the line. The Houston Rockets don’t have that problem, and will sign Harden to a long-term deal.

James Harden says he’s ready to take command of the team, and become the Rockets’ star.

Per the Houston Chronicle:

Harden said he fully intends to sign a long-term contract extension with the Rockets. And if there were any doubts, he said he firmly believes he will become the star they need. “To be secure, I feel like I’m in a great position with a great team, young guys who want to work hard,” Harden said. “It will work itself out. I’ll let them figure it out, them and my agent. My focus now is on Houston and how to make them better.” The NBA Sixth Man of the Year last year, more will be expected of Harden with the retooled Rockets than with the championship-contending Thunder. It will be an adjustment, Harden said, but he believed he was ready to take that significant step.

“I am,” Harden said. “It’s going to take some time, obviously not starting (in the past) and not having as much attention on me. It’s going to take some time, but I think I’m ready for it.”The Rockets will offer a max contract, worth either $78.6 million over five years or $60.2 million over four years, a person with knowledge of their plans said. Negotiations cannot begin until the trade is official following the completion of physicals, but the teams are hoping to have the deal completed before the 4 p.m. deadline Monday to set regular-season rosters.

After gutting their roster over the past two seasons to make room for a star (and his massive contract), the Houston Rockets finally landed a marquee player in Harden, who they hope can help get them back to respectability.

The Thunder and Rockets are scheduled to meet just once this season on Nov. 28 in Oklahoma, in what promises to be an emotional affair for both sides.

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  • TBRK
  • tomtom

    He will regret this when it turns out that last season was the highlight if his career.

  • tomtom


  • BlackStar

    All the best to Harden. I pray this doesn’t turn into a “Joe Johnson 2.0″ situation where the grass wasn’t greener on the other side.

  • BlackStar

    Lol … Gotta love Westbrook.

  • blackthought

    don`t fear the beard – fear the luxtax! okc still made the right move, by not payin` harden max $$$ (also they nearly did). he`s good, but not great – like durant. and in kevin martin they got decent replacement. just another smart move by sam prescti. and 4 james harden, leavin` possible rings on the table 4 bein` the guy & 1 mill a year? c`mon!

  • danpowers

    i dont think that he is as good as johnson so no. it could be a worse situation

  • biggieman

    Me and the rest of Thunder fans are gonna miss him, I wont lie. But it’s really hard to blame OKC for letting him go when Harden was demanding the max. Especially when he said multiple times that he would be willing to stay for less… I guess not. He will regret it when OKC is winning titles without him, Jeremy Lin turns out to be a scrub, and Houston is a joke in the west.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    4 years $55 million to play on a championship contender or 5 years $78 million to play on a below average team. Can’t blame him for wanting more money. But I would be content with $13.8 million on average a year possibly playing for a championship every season. $55 million would be more than enough for me. Houston is out of their minds for giving him a max deal for one year of being a great 6th man. He is probably the 3rd best SG in basketball behind Wade and Kobe. But I would need to see more than 1 season of great work before I gave him that kind of money.

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Verified Account

    Im not 100% sure this is completely about money. If the thunder were willing to give him 55.5 mill and pay the tax they would probably be willing to pay him 60 mill and the tax. However if during the negotiations it was clear harden had no interest in sacrifice and the betterment of the team aka Russ/KD/Serge then even if they were willing to pay the tax what if his attitude made them believe he isnt as good as a fit for the organization as we all believed.

  • Dymez

    I like Harden, and I think he’s a really good player when coming into a game that’s already established a tempo — he’s a great ‘change of pace’ guy. I don’t know what’s going to happen in Houston, but throughout Harden’s whole career he only had 2 beefs: money and starting. He’s getting both of those in Houston, so he’ll be playing with a clear mind. We’re about to see what he is really all about.

  • Jay

    I think everyone knows he likes to have a great time. He needed every dollar to party like a rock star. It’s frustrating for a fan base knowing the team on the cusp isn’t willing to go over luxury tax. Their GM is still excellent and doing his best job under ownership’s terms. Oh well! Go Lakers!
    Stay safe out there in the East Coast

  • BlackStar

    Damn … You think he is worse than Joe Johnson? I think Joe is an underrated player, but I see more star potential in Harden than Joe. Plus Harden does a better job of running an offense and getting teammates involved then Joe ever did. But hey, let’s see what happens.

  • danpowers

    joe with the suns was pretty similar to harden with the thunder except that johnson was a role player and harden THE sixth man. harden has to prove being capable of being the no1 man on a team when defensive lines dfocus on him. same with lin. im afraid their fg% will go down down down so their efficiency as long as they dont have a decent big man on their team.

  • Dave

    Great guy, great player…..but no way is he worth $15 million per.

    Very, very bad decision Houston. You’ll be regretting this.

    Harden had plenty of success in OKC b/c teams were so focused on stopping Westbrook and Durant. Sorry James, but Jeremy Lin is no Durant! Houston is going down big time.

  • danpowers


  • Dagger

    I think a lot of players – and people more generally – become transfixed with money, without realizing that money’s main function should be improving your quality of life. If you make more money while sacrificing your quality of life, what have you really gained? Harden’s life would probably have been richer on the Thunder.

  • Anthony Dixon

    Harden better than Joe Johnson ?

  • BlackStar

    His FG% will probably drop, but I see him getting at least 20 pts and 5 assists a game. He’ll do better in Houston than Johnson did in ATL.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    We’ll find out this season.

  • pposse

    lets do some math here. If James Harden gets the 4 yrs 60.2 mllion dollar deal, he gains 1.175 million dollars more per year than what the Thunder supposedly offered him which equates to 4.7 million more dollars total. IF Harden gets offered the 5 yr max of 78.6 he will get an average salary of 15.72 million for the next 5 years and he would stand to lose 1.845 million per year for the first four years in comparison to the deal that the thunder offered harden and 7.38 million overall for the first four years. IF Harden gets the 5 yr max i say think he made a wise move cause he will have gained close to 7.5 million more dollars over four years, plus he is guaranteed another year where he will be making 15.72 million. IF Harden only gets a 4 year max deal he stands to make 4.7 million more dollars thruout the life of the deal, which is simply not enough, especially when you are on a contending team. If the Thunder won with Harden in the next 4 years, he could probably make up the difference of 4.7 million thru endorsements etc. etc. Overall Harden will be salty if he doesnt get this 5 year max deal.

  • spit hot fiyah

    houston has problems. commit the max to guy who probably doesn’t even want to be the first option based on what he told okc before he was drafted. and they have major money invested in lin and asik. fail

  • Anthony Dixon

    lol your right but if its in harden’s favor,,, Brooklyn will fail

  • zogs19994


  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Not so devastated anymore!

  • http://www.facebook.com/blong33 Brad Long

    I’m sure Bun B is excited that anorexic Rick Ross is now in Houston.

  • justin05

    now your vomment makes sense lol. Hes still no Joe tho bro!

  • The Mauve Avenger

    His last All Star game. Shame to see him go.

  • Dagger

    Not necessarily. Harden is a really nice young player. Great in isolation, money on the pick and roll, very good playmaker, great at driving towards the net, really nice percentages from range, solid ball handler. A 23 year old with those skills is rare. It’s no insult to Joe Johnson to say that Harden might be better than him.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    He’ll regret this when he looks around the first time to pass the ball and he sees Toney Douglas instead of Westbrook and Chandler Parsons instead of Durant.

  • zogs19994


  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Verified Account

    you forgot Lin

  • danpowers

    you just exactly described joe johnsons performance in ATL lol

  • Kap

    I hope they don’t become the Suns and trade all star draft pick after draft pick and trade their star SG. Money has caused collapse of many would be dynasties.

  • BlackStar

    Lol … Touche.

  • JackPackage

    People really think James Harden is better than Joe Johnson? Crazy.

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Verified Account


  • LakeShow

    No more questions for you bro.

  • RedRum

    He is not a max player. period. anyone who pays him as such is overpaying. To me he is the equivalent of Andrew Toney of the 83 sixers. team-gel player, but not a superstar.

  • robb

    Cheer up son, you’re gonna get superstar money even when you’re not one!!!

  • That Man Sam

    This has to be like your 5th time posting that. I have seen that on all the James Harden topics

  • MLK

    Malcolm X hates asians smh

  • Redd

    Joke or not, lay off talking about the dead.

  • manu

    joe johnson is one of the most clutch players in the league

    harden isn’t close yet

  • J.C.

    who, jeremy lin?

  • Bored

    why is he better than Joe? or is this a psychic prediction?

  • Bored

    why are people saying he is better than Joe Johnson?

  • JB

    Yes: because he is better. Better as a consistent scorer, ball handler, passer, defender, etc.