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Tuesday, November 6th, 2012 at 3:05 pm  |  21 responses

James Harden Says OKC Thunder Didn’t Give Him Enough Time to Consider Final Offer


According to new Rockets star forward James Harden, the OKC Thunder barely gave him any time to seriously consider their final offer ($54 million over 4 years), before jettisoning him off to Houston. Harden admits that he was hurt by how fast the Thunder moved him in the blockbuster trade that rocked the NBA. Per Yahoo! Sports: “After everything we established – everything we had done – you give me an hour?’ Harden said. ‘This was one of the biggest decisions of my life. I wanted to go home and pray about it. It hurt me. It hurt.’ Asked if additional time might have caused him to accept a deal several million dollars short of the $60 million maximum contract Harden had long sought, he responded: ‘Who knows? Another day, who knows what another day would’ve done?’ Looking back a week later, Harden believes he likely had to leave his sixth-man role in Oklahoma City and become what Houston general manager Daryl Morey calls the Rockets’ ‘foundational player’ for the public to truly understand the depth of Harden’s abilities. ‘I was there with talented guys in Oklahoma City, some All-Star guys, and I would’ve been in the back seat there – which I was fine with – but I wouldn’t have gotten the chance to show how talented I really am,’ Harden said. ‘It’s a different opportunity for me here.’ Thunder and Rockets executives give the same explanation for the timing of the trade four days prior to the Oct. 31 deadline for contract extensions: Houston needed a deal done on that Saturday, because Rockets officials felt that was the bare minimum to assure they could get their eventual five-year, $80 million deal with Harden into place. Houston had been pressing hard to complete the trade on that Friday, but Thunder GM Sam Presti waited until Saturday to present his final offer with a 60-minute deadline to accept. Presti believed the Thunder would’ve lost leverage in potential trade packages if rivals weren’t sure they could keep Harden off the restricted free-agent market next summer. Oklahoma City traded Harden, Cole Aldrich, Daequan Cook and Lazar Hayward to the Rockets for Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb and two first-round draft picks. For the Thunder, the trading of Harden was a financial decision.”

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  • Bravo

    Lol

  • LakeShow

    “According to new Rockets star forward James Harden…”
    Really? Forward? I mean he “could” play SF conceivably, but naw, he’s a guard guys.
    I

  • Datkid

    This only makes me hate OKC’s gm’s more smh

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

    If OKC doesnt win a chip within these next couple years and Harden keeps putting up these numbers, fans and critics will blame this trade for no chip. watch! lol

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

    not an OKC fan. but harden was as important as KD or westbrook, the finals wasn’t his best moment.. but against all other teams he lit em up. especially against SA.. Tony parker was toying with westbrook.. but Harden lit up SA and hit crucial shots against the lakers. its a shame they split the trio up

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

    same here

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    well this is a half truth. Harden knew about the Houston situation at least the day before. He just didn’t know what OKC would offer him.

  • pposse

    doesnt matter. OKC will stil have sold out home games and still be relevant as long as KD and Westbrook are there with Ibaka and like 3 more future first rd picks. Even if they don’t win a championship they will be competitive/ cream of the crop in the west for the next 10 years (minus maybe these next two years with the lakers and spurs still a huge threat).

  • robb

    OKC f*cked up ;)

  • KevinWarren

    The media loves controversy. This is a non story based on half truth. James had months to come to terms with the Thunder and chose to play hard ball. Can’t blame him at all but can’t find fault with the Thunder either. OKC’s a small market without huge sponsorships and TV deals. In the end, they had to do what made sense financially. As did James Harden. Both parties will be fine. Let it go.

  • Dagger

    A 60-minute deadline to accept is A) Disrespectful and B) counterproductive. It’s almost like they wanted him gone, which is/was a huge mistake.

  • LeroyShonuff

    Partly true. He did have all summer to work something out but OKC can’t cry “small market without huge sponsorships”. The Thunder have a global team. With Ibaka bringing in a spanish market and having Durant (global baller) they getting money. They are operating at a huge plus. The merchandise sells they make globally plus tv games that are shown all over the world makes up for what they lack in local sponsorship

  • http://www.facebook.com/rig.veda.94 Rig Veda

    Can’t wait to see OKC’s bench going against the lakers or anyone in the final without James Harden.

  • marko

    I love the way James Harden has been playing as of late, but everyone has to stop treating him like the victim. What choice did the Thunder really have? They need more depth on their team in order to win a championship, and giving a max deal to Harden would made that impossible. People will agree with whatever he says, because he’s playing well. And to be honest, I think we’re gonna see him start cooling down over the next week or two. After a month, we can decide whether or not he really is a star or not.

  • shockexchange

    Looks like Harden is suffering from what the Shock Exchange defines as “post purchase dissonance”

  • uqk

    should’ve sign harden first over ibaka…imo

  • RedRum

    he must be kidding me… where was he all this months?? Even I knew that that their offer was 4 years 54m for months now, he had no clue? come on… it is obvious that Harden is hurt, he preferred playing at OKC, he knows he is not a leading man, he likes being in the back sit and now he regrets leaving. If anything what he said I find very insulting to Houston, the team that just gave him 80m. How can you with a clear conscience take all that money and then say you might have stayed in OKC??

  • elmaar

    This was a premature decision in terms of what they were able to get for Harden.
    Two picks in the range of 16-25 and Kevin Martin does not make the cut.
    OKC could’ve given him 60mil and realistically traded him later for much higher picks and/or players easily.

  • sheed33

    you can’t be serious that offering somebody 53 million over 4 years is “disrespectful”. do you really think Harden would be worse off “only” making 13,25 million a year instead of 15? he decided to value money/individual achievement more than lessmoney, more of a contender. It was his decision NOT to accept. The rest is history.

  • JML-G

    OKC fans need to stop blaming Harden – Thunder gm clearly didnt want to pay James what he deserved, so it is what it is now

  • Rainman

    If you had to go home and pray over 54 million dollars, God himself woulda slapped you for being so damn greedy. Come on now…

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