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Sunday, October 28th, 2012 at 10:48 am  |  61 responses

OKC Thunder Believe Their Players Will ‘Ultimately Support’ Harden Trade


Many have assumed that some of the OKC Thunder players will be pretty pissed about Saturday night’s trade that sent James Harden down to Houston, given that it probably dampens the squad’s 2013 Championship potential. Not the team brass, though—they believe the guys will understand, according to ESPN: “The Oklahoma City Thunder have achieved a remarkable amount of success by establishing and sticking to a few central beliefs. It was that fidelity to those principles that led them to trade James Harden because of a contractual dispute. According to sources with knowledge of the team’s thinking, the Thunder believe their players will ultimately support the controversial decision to send Harden to the Houston Rockets in a blockbuster deal that breaks up the core that reached the NBA Finals last season. The Thunder maintain a philosophy that the individual sacrifices for the whole. In this case, that would have meant Harden agreeing to accept less than the maximum amount for a four-year extension, which was $60 million. Reportedly the Thunder’s final offer was in the range of $55 million for four years.”

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  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    $13 million plus a year compared to $15 million a year? Don’t see why he didn’t take the deal. He’ll regret it after watching the Thunder battle for the Western Conference championship for the next few seasons while he struggles to get the Rockets to respectability.

  • d-rise

    he rejected 5 million so they shipped his behind to houston? wow

  • HomerGreenz

    He might not, The Rockets still have cap room to sign a Josh Smith or a Paul Millsap after this season. One of those guys with Harden, Lin and Asik would make a damn good nucleus.

  • Cameron

    This trade wasn’t that bad for OKC. They still have a good shooter in Martin, a young player in Lamb, and some good draft picks. One of those being from Toronto I’m pretty sure. If anything, they’re good trade pieces.

  • 23

    Even if by some chance they do sign Josh Smith or millsap, that’s still not good enough to be a top team in their division. They won’t be better than SA, DAL, MEM and imo NOH still would be a better team if Davis pans out to a camby/garnett-esque type player. So yeah, he DEFINITELY will regret it.

  • spit hot fiyah

    agreed, they get a good prospect in lamb for cheap and martin who will give them points and get to the line and whose contract i believe expires after the year. and don’t forget the return of maynor, who will do a lot of the ball handling that harden was doing last year.

  • spit hot fiyah

    can’t blame harden for wanting an extra few million, but it sucks from a fans perspective. can’t blame okc either for sticking to their policy, if durant and westbrook signed for slightly less than max then harden should to for the sake of keeping the team top notch. but the didn’t, so they dealt him. nba business 101

  • macaroni

    He only has to stay for this year.

  • http://twitter.com/bjollz Björn Atli Davíðsson

    Agreed. Gotta respect Presti for this. He’s a good GM and as it seems a man of principle.

  • Rainman

    exactly. It was silly, and now we know what James Harden is all about. The money.

  • justin05

    obey and fame you are exactly right. He goes from a reserve role and 3rd-4th best player on his team and becomes the man in Houston all of a sudden. #1 option and theye will resign him, Houston seems to be throwing money around this offseason.

  • Trueballer4life

    Harden missed up bad hr killed the thunder dynasty! For. A 5 mill difference wow..!

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    They could sign both Josh Smith and Paul Milsap and they would be a 5 or 6 seed in the West at best. Free agents have to want to go to a team. Jeremy Lin and James Harden aren’t enough to get a top free agent to go to Houston.

  • Chuck

    Forgot. By the way, have all of the Laker and Heat fans forgotten that the Thunder still have rapidly improving 23 and 24 year olds, Maynor back, Jones who has surprised me and most importantly, very interchangable parts. Durant can play small and large, Ibaka 4 and 5, I can see RW play 1 and 2. If you break down their stats pre-season, you will see a large decline in tos as these kids mature. They will match up very well against the elite, zheat and Lakers included.

  • bravo

    damn homie got traded that fast!

  • RedRum

    I cannot believe that people are blaming Harden for not taking less money… I think this is best for both. OKC stuck to their guns and evaluation of his talent. He is the 6th man, he is not a franchise player, hence he needs to take less than KD and RW. Harden thought otherwise. Good on him. He made a bluff, he thought they would not trade him, OKC called and now is in Houston. They did the same with Green, they told him we give you this much, take it or trade. I actually like Kevin Martin, he is a more of a dynamic scorer. But I have to admit I really respect how OKC run their team.

  • Rainman

    MArconi!

  • http://www.facebook.com/Bishop.SeanMagicJuan Sean MagicJuan

    This article is misleading though and it seems as though Slam has an angle because they portray Harden as a player who was so money hungry, he turned down $55 million because he deserved $60 million. The full truth is that Houston can re-sign him for the max five year extension at $78 million. Obviously, he and his agent have discussed this and Presti knew these realities too. Paint the whole picture Slam.

  • Jmotheshow

    Who to say Harden going to stay put in Houston your forgetting he hasn’t signed an extension . Teams like hawks,mavs,rockets,phoneix and hell even the bulls if they get rid of boozer the bulls with harden nd rose would make for a good backcourt for yrs.

  • Dymez

    KD took to twitter last night with one word: “Wow.” He definitely won’t be happy about it, but he’s the ultimate professional, he’ll move on. I get the feeling Russ is more happy about it than anything. He’ll be asked to do more now, so he’ll be stuffing the stat sheet. The Thunder today are a little worse than they were at this time yesterday, but with 3 1st round picks (including one potential lottery pick) next June, and Lamb who is expected to be a quality player in due time, they’ll be much better than they would be if they had kept Harden. And I still think they’re the best in the West right now, anyway.

  • Dymez

    I noticed you mentioned the Rockets as one of the teams he could leave Houston for. You do know that the Rockets are Houston, right?

  • jmotheshow

    yea i was jus name teams he could sign with during the offseason

  • Cameron

    If the Thunder really wanted Harden they should’ve tried to sign him before Ibaka. That was there first mistake but Harden was dumb for passing up 55 mil to be a 6th man anyways

  • jmotheshow

    he could go to the bulls nxt season if they get rid of boozer or hawks or mavs

  • http://twitter.com/DPisWill DePaul Williams

    I think both, OKC and Harden, made huge mistakes. OKC because that core of young talent that they had made drastic strides, and they can only get better. I understand that OKC was trying to stay under the new luxury tax because of their small market, but Harden’s talent, willingness to come off the bench, and chemistry with the other stars on the team was essential to their success. They should of just paid him the money. Harden messed up because he had the perfect role that suited his game. Harden, in my opinion, is not a star who is going to carry a team on his own. I understand he wanted his Durant/Westbrook money as well but him being on the rockets is only going to be as good as Joe Johnson signing with the Hawks. Great individual talents making a lot of money, but will only thrive if they are option #2 or #3, not #1. I hope you guys agree with my opinion, if not so be it.

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

    i was completely shocked. okc shoulda atleast kept him for this season

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

    im a bit salty with this trade. i don’t know who to blame lol

  • Hambone

    Win a chip or the wcf and get double that in endorcements and Gillette ads

  • http://www.facebook.com/doe.columbus Doe Columbus

    okc should have waited! Westbrook and Durant would have talked him to taking less money! BAD DECiSION By Management!!!!

  • Jay

    u liein ass mofo!!!!! u kno damn well u thought the rockets was a different team then houston or else u wouldnt hav phrased ur comment like that. who says sheit like “how u kno harden gonna stay in houston when a team like the rockets could sign him”??? nobody! ecxept u

  • Dagger

    I agree about them being a 5th seed at best, even with Smith. The biggest problem for the Rockets: championship contenders generally don’t overpay their best players (we’ve seen a demonstration of that by the Thunder). That’s what separates the Brooklyn Nets – who, you can argue, are seriously overpaying Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace and Brook Lopez – from the Miami Heat. The Rockets are, IMO, definitely overpaying Lin over the length of his contract, will be overpaying Asik for at least a year or two, and are probably overpaying Harden. That does not a true contender make.

  • http://twitter.com/stepfdelaghetto Stepfan Raiford

    I’m sick of people acting like OKC is done or got worse. If you believe that, you don’t know basketball as far as I’m concerned. Fair trade for both teams. Jlin and Harden in the back court should be fun to watch but their piss poor defense will not result into wins.

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

    he’s very stern. I’m not an OKC fan, but its just a shame. these 3 were special

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

    lol

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

    agreed

  • Cameron

    He’s already signing with the Rockets I think.

  • Drig

    Most informative comment on here. Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/AjpDos Allen Powell

    So Harden is wrong for wanting more money but OKC is smart for wanting to save more money? Y’all are silly.

  • Stacey713 go rockets

    I’m a houstonian & its great move have anyone stop to think maybe he feels he can be the man & fyi he already signing an extention & yall talking like martin ain’t good he can put up numbers with fewer shots & lamb shows alot of promise he averaged 21 points per game this preseason & if they let him play don’t be surprised if he is in the talks for rookie of the year I was really hoping we would have kept him but we got a fair deal on both ends cause I’m also a okc fan as well & k mart deserves a chance to really shine just like harden has a chance to prove hes just as much a super star as guys he was playing with …….Go Rockets Houston we have lift off

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    I think Durant was surprised with Harden and with Presti. Surprised with Harden for not taking the deal that was on the table to stay with the team. Surprised with Presti for trading him so quickly.

  • bigmoney

    Come on now harden passing up a great deal like this for an extra 1.25 million a year there’s something else going on that we don’t know about

  • http://www.facebook.com/qcollingwood Interdico Scriptor

    ***subclause*** those players who don’t ‘ultimately support’ will be ‘ultimately shifted’…

  • pposse

    so let me get this straight…harden gets shipped cause the sides couldn’t agree on 4.5 million dollars over 4 years?? haha harden acted foolish and failed hard with his negotiations. Cheers to Thunder management for taking a stand; first round picks are still first round picks, i think they got the best deal that they could regarding the situation they were in. The thunder wil still be relevant for the next ten years and will most likely become favorites again after these next two years when kobe and nash retire and duncan leaves. This was the best business move they could do.

  • http://www.facebook.com/qcollingwood Interdico Scriptor

    Really… is there a difference between 55 and 60 million? What can you get for 60 you can’t get for 55???
    We all know these guys are over-payed and I’m curious how much is enough?

  • http://www.facebook.com/qcollingwood Interdico Scriptor

    Bjorn again

  • pposse

    78 million??! foreal? this guy can get over 15 million for the next 5 years per year?? is this real? who would sign a sixth man to a deal like that? In my eyes and i woudl think in most if not all GM/owners eyes in the NBA Harden did nothing thus far to deserve a 78 million dollar contract..

  • http://www.facebook.com/qcollingwood Interdico Scriptor

    Hahahaha Texas’ ‘other’ city (the one furthest of the 3 from a ring) …. Yeah Lin (crazy overpaid/overrated) and Harden (appreciated but ultimately overrated) are your saviours??? Good luck with that

  • http://www.facebook.com/qcollingwood Interdico Scriptor

    The two tie in… to save don’t spend. Ya feel me?

  • http://www.facebook.com/qcollingwood Interdico Scriptor

    Obama lol Everyone else does (so it seems from here)

  • pposse

    disregard my comment, i just read sean magic juans comment below and apparently Harden can make 78 million over 5 years on a max deal…this is an issue in itself but if this is true then I don’t think that Harden was foolish in his negotiating

  • http://www.facebook.com/qcollingwood Interdico Scriptor

    Um… maybe there’s a reason they signed Ibaka. Maybe… just maybe after last season’s finals and Harden’s elevated status to the Olympics plus 6th man they knew to hedge their bets on some players… and let the dice roll on others.
    Would you or I have done it… no. Are we on the staff of the Thunder… no. Do we have any comprehension of the true machinations of the elite athlete… no.
    Full stop. Or as your people would say, period.

  • http://twitter.com/AjpDos Allen Powell

    No you are missing my point. It is fair and smart for OKC to worry about its money, but greedy for Harden to worry about his? Nah, that’s silly. Harden made a business decision. A full max deal pays him like $18 million more than what OKC was offering, not $2 million. OKC traded him rather than have to pay full market value. Remember, the team extensions are often discounts, that’s why players like Deron and CP3 refused to sign extensions and instead became full free agents. People are funny man. They cheer for teams to make money, and get mad at players for wanting to make money. OKC made a really smart trade, and Harden made a smart move by holding out for his cash.

  • jmotheshow

    smh i gave list of teams he could sign with including houston but watever u say man jus ignorant smh.

  • jmotheshow

    you probably one of the only ppl with sense on here

  • EJ

    Does anyone know what kind of a contract Kevin Martin has?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    $6Million Dollars is a lot of money. He’s not LeBron, he doesn’t make $50M a year off of endorsements or even $1Million in endorsements a year. People are totally undervaluing how much money that really is..

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    well it’s a max contract. and Harden was the 3rd best SG in the league per minute last season (Daryl Morey likes advanced stats more than i do) – it’s not like those types of players grow on trees.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    well it’s a max contract. and Harden was the 3rd best SG in the league per minute last season (Daryl Morey likes advanced stats more than i do) – it’s not like those types of players grow on trees.

  • ash

    The Thunder maintain a philosophy that the individual sacrifices for the whole. If this statement is true why didn’t kevin durnat or westbrook take less money so harden can esign. Im pretty sure both new how important harden was to the team.

  • pposse

    its bothersome that james harden has only been in the league for 3 years and someone is determining that this guy is worth more than 15 plus milly a year. I mean, yah sure the advanced stats are there, and he probably is the third best sg in the league but he doesn’t have any hardware/awards to justify the spending. RW qualified or would have qualified for a max extension under the ‘d rose’ rule and KD, well we all know what kind of monster KD is.

  • nash

    This is like watching the rise and fall of an empire, these kids are scared, whos next? Why come to O.K. State in the first place? I wonder how much they got, since they got overflowing fans fr all over the state wearing the blues or whites in the arena, understandable Presti loves his job, but about the guy who saddened the seattle fans, perhaps okc fans will get over it, I know Brooks dosnt like it, Durant just say wow(for what ¿ ). Whos to be blame? James or Presti?

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