James Harden: "Dear Red Nation: Saturday was a big day …

James Harden: “Dear Red Nation: Saturday was a big day for all of us who love the Rockets. I feel so honored to be able to extend my basketball career in this great City which I now call home. I can’t thank Mr. Alexander enough for the faith he has shown in me and the incredible support my family and I feel from the organization and our fans. From the first day I arrived you embraced me as your own. Your support has helped me grow so much as a player and as a man – from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU!”

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James Harden: "I can assure you our Team will work hard together, grow together, build together, compete together, and pursue our ultimate goal - another Championship for H-Town - together! There will be challenges along the way but we will continue to fight. Everyone in the organization is locked in on the same goal. We are not a "super-team", but just a group of guys that want to work hard to be the very best. And our work begins immediately. We look forward to taking this incredible journey with all of you! With much love and great respect, James Harden.
For Houston, it is a coup to have Harden secured past 2018, allowing the franchise to continue to build around him for the long term. Harden has bought into coach Mike D’Antoni’s vision and wanted to make a longer commitment to the franchise. Harden had two years and $34.6 million left on his deal through 2018, and the renegotiation gives him nearly $10 million and $11 million raises on those salaries – and two new years in 2018-19 and 2019-20 at $30.4 million and $32.7 million a year, respectively.
Calvin Watkins: Houston Rockets guard James Harden has signed a four-year contract extension, owner Leslie Alexander said. "I'm happy to be here for four more years," Harden said. "This is home for me."
Storyline: James Harden Extension?
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January 31, 2023 | 4:33 am EST Update

Nets feeling no pressure on extension talks with Kyrie Irving

As Kyrie Irving’s agent and stepmother Shetellia Riley Irving told my podcast partner Chris Haynes in a Bleacher Report story last week, Irving hopes to sign a contract extension with the Nets — but substantive talks between the sides have yet to begin. Some league observers have posited that this could be by design on Brooklyn’s part, with the Nets apparently convinced that they are under no pressure to move swiftly on the extension front when Irving would likely need their help via sign-and-trade to relocate in the offseason to any other team he likes.

Orlando eyeing Fred VanVleet?

Teams like the Los Angeles Clippers would like to improve at that position, with John Wall apparently available. The Orlando Magic have eyes on a quality veteran like VanVleet, per sources. The Dallas Mavericks are still looking for a Jalen Brunson replacement. The Washington Wizards don’t have a true answer at the point.