NBA rumors: Rockets offered contract extension to James Harden

After turning down the chance to become the first $50 million a year player in league history, Houston Rockets guard All-NBA guard James Harden has made it clear to ownership that he’s singularly focused on a trade to the Brooklyn Nets, sources tell ESPN. As Harden’s conversations with the Nets stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving ramped up in recent weeks on the West Coast, sources say the Rockets made a pitch for him to sign the maximum allowable extension — two years and $103 million on top of the remaining three years, $133 million on his current deal.

More on James Harden Extension?

James Harden and the Houston Rockets have agreed to a four-year extension, the team announced Saturday. The contract is a super-maximum extension that will guarantee him $228 million through the 2022-23 season, league sources told ESPN.
Harden, the runner-up for the NBA's MVP this season, has two years and $59 million left on his current contract. The four-year extension carries a value of $170 million and is the richest extension in the NBA history.
"It's my pleasure to announce we've reached agreement with James Harden on a long term contract extension. Since he arrived in Houston, James has exhibited the incredible work ethic, desire to win, and passion to be the best that has made him one of the most unique and talented superstars in the history of the game," said Alexander. "Additionally, the commitment he has shown to our organization, the City of Houston, and Rockets fans all over the world makes him a perfect leader in our pursuit of another championship. I'm very happy for James, his mother Monja, and their family on this exciting day."
"Houston is home for me," said Harden. "Mr. Alexander has shown he is fully committed to winning and my teammates and I are going to keep putting in the work to get better and compete for the title."
While planning their summer roster moves, the Rockets "plan" to take a step that will allow them to tell potential free agents that star guard James Harden will not be going anywhere. For the second consecutive season, the Rockets intend to offer Harden a contract extension long before he could hit free agency, a person will knowledge of the team's plans said Tuesday. The individual spoke on the condition of anonymity because the team's intentions have not been made public.
The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the private nature of collective bargaining negotiations. Rockets officials would not comment about any part of the CBA, ratified by the NBA board of governors on Wednesday. But one individual, speaking on the condition of anonymity said, "We would probably give him a 100-year extension." The Rockets could have preferred to wait on a new deal for Harden, since the extension he signed in July keeps him under contract through at least the 2017-18 season.
The Rockets' informal policy is normally to do contractual moves only at the deadline, including decisions with far less long-term ramifications involving player options. Harden, however, is the exception to that thinking and happy to have the franchise's future in his hands. "They love me, man. I love them," Harden said. "I love being here. We're going to win a lot. I'm excited to be here. That's one of the reasons I extended this summer.
The National Basketball Association’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement includes a special provision that grandfathers Houston’s James Harden and Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook into the windfall of super-max contract extensions available to several star players this summer, league sources told The Vertical. This summer, Westbrook could sign a five-year, $219 million contract extension that would begin in the 2018-19 season. He’ll make $28.5 million in 2017-18.
For now, it is less likely that Harden might consider the extension this summer than Westbrook, league sources told The Vertical. Harden might prefer to wait until closer to his free agency and continue to evaluate the Rockets’ ability to develop into a championship contender, sources told The Vertical. Harden has a massive adidas shoe deal that guarantees him great earning power beyond his NBA contract. What’s more, the Rockets are under no obligation to offer him the extension this summer.
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!"
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."
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