Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 at 9:50 am  |  30 responses

Washington Wizards Reportedly Turned Down a Trade for James Harden

According to the Washington Post, the OKC Thunder engaged in trade talks with the Washington Wizards over the summer. But Wizards owner Ted Leonsis did not want to shell out a max contract for James Harden, who eventually ended up in Houston: “The Washington Wizards turned down a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder for James Harden this summer because team owner Ted Leonsis was unwilling to commit to what would have been a roughly $80 million, five-year contract for the high-scoring player, according to multiple people with knowledge of the proposed deal. The Wizards would have sent rookie guard Bradley Beal and second-year forward Chris Singleton to the Thunder in return for Harden, winner of the NBA’s sixth-man award with Oklahoma City last season, according to these individuals, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk about the proposal. The Thunder traded Harden to the Houston Rockets in October. The Rockets, who play the Wizards in Houston Wednesday, gave Harden, who is having an all-star caliber season averaging nearly 25 points per game, the large contract he had been seeking. [...] The Wizards would have had one of the more dynamic young back courts in the NBA, with the 22-year-old John Wall and the 23-year-old Harden. Harden also could have helped the Wizards better withstand the absence of Wall, who remains sidelined with a stress injury in his left knee, which was diagnosed in late September. Oklahoma City traded Harden because it risked a stiff luxury tax bill once the penalties of the new collective bargaining agreement take hold in the 2013-14 season. At the time the trade was discussed, the Wizards already had committed more than $33 million in salary this year after acquiring three veteran players — Nene, Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza — in an effort to bring stability to a young roster. The Wizards also set aside money for the summer of 2014, when Wall, a former No. 1 pick, Kevin Seraphin, Jordan Crawford and Trevor Booker will become restricted free agents. Several big name talents — LeBron James, Rudy Gay, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh, among others — also could enter the open market. If the Wizards had traded for Harden, his $5.8 million salary this season would not have changed the team’s payroll much. But with the maximum deal Harden signed with Houston, his salary will jump to $13.7 million next season, when the Wizards would be committing almost $68 million in salary for just 10 players.”

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  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Sanchez

    Wizard fans must feel pissed. But that luxury tax aint no joke

  • http://www.facebook.com/rainman1991 Saleem Rainman

    and they remain in mediocrity. Well deserved.

  • Ugh

    That word, mediocrity, I don’t think it means what you think it means.

  • KevinWarren

    Coulda, woulda, shoulda… This article is pointless. Houston, with a Lin and Harden back court, is 9 and11, losers of three in a row and have a negative .9 point differential.

  • http://www.facebook.com/canyoufinddoublej Joey Nelson

    Wow… Wizards… Fail.

  • Caribbeancop

    They should deal with this Ted Leonsis severely

  • http://www.facebook.com/rainman1991 Saleem Rainman

    shut ur legs

  • Batman

    Jeremy Lin and James Harden are jackie chan and chris tucker (rush hour) of NBA

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

    James Harden > Bradley Beal, Nene, Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza. Can’t believe they turned this down.

  • roscoe

    Yep… all 3 Wizard fans are pissed.

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Sanchez

    Luxury tax is a b!tch

  • Comment_System

    An Inigo Montoya reference on slam? im impressed.

  • Seth

    The Wiz wouldn’t be any better with their current roster, but at least they’d have Wall & Harden to build around. Lin is way overpaid and not a cornerstone like Wall.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    omg, that would have been such a coupe for Washington. dumbasses.

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

    It is but this shows that your not about winning, but about making a profit.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Gilbert/100001749589586 Mike Gilbert

    it’s a business. If a team like Washington goes deep into the luxury tax it will actually go bankrupt. This isn’t LA. This isn’t New York.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Gilbert/100001749589586 Mike Gilbert

    It’s not pointless. It’s fun to here about what could have been. And a John Wall/ James Harden backcourt could have been interesting

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Gilbert/100001749589586 Mike Gilbert

    I don’t think it’s fair to judge them until their best player comes back

  • Redd

    Would’ve been nice, I always root for the losing teams that aren’t paid mind to. Stinks.

  • LeroyShonuff

    Keep believing Wall is a cornerstone…

  • LeroyShonuff


  • RipCity

    cheap owners ruin this league. if you aren’t ready to pay superstars why get in this business. Harden is a proven talent with top 3 SG potential. Beal is all potential and is pretty spotty. dumb move by washington

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

    I understand it’s a business but Bradley Beal and Chris Singleton for James Harden? That’s a no brainer. Two young players for a proven player in James Harden. You have to pull the trigger if your Wizards. But with a terrible GM like Ernie Grunfeld he wouldn’t even know how to build around the potential backcourt of Wall and Harden. Wall and Harden would/could attract free agents to come to D.C.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk


  • spit hot fiyah

    makes sense, both wall and harden need the ball a lot in order to be effective, beal is better off the ball. so they basically said that they are putting a lot of stock in john wall

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Sanchez

    They ain’t gonna be much better

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Sanchez

    Feel for the fans

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Gilbert/100001749589586 Mike Gilbert

    but they will have been improved from last year…so in a way that’s success ……right? lol

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Sanchez

    lol can’t argue with that

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Gilbert/100001749589586 Mike Gilbert

    I get what your saying but they simply couldn’t. If they made that trade then they would have Wall, Harden, Okafor, Ariza, Nene….those contracts make it impossible to sign anybody else. The Wizards did not want to be limited to that roster moving forward, so I respect them for not making the trade.