The Houston Rockets traded for James Harden hoping to get a cornerstone player for their rebuilding franchise. The Rockets now will have Harden around for the foreseeable future after agreeing to a five-year, $80 million max contract extension with the lefty reigning Sixth Man of the Year.
Harden was dealt to the Rockets over the weekend after rejecting a lesser contract extension with the Oklahoma City Thunder. OKC reportedly offered Harden as much as $54-55 mil for four years, but Harden was seeking the maximum 4-yr, $60 mil extension he was eligible for.
Harden was an integral part of the Thunder’s emergence as a Western Conference powerhouse, combining with All-Stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook to form a potent scoring trio that reached the NBA Finals last season.
Harden averaged 16.8 ppg, 4.1 rpg and 3.7 apg in 62 games in 2011-12, 60 of them off the bench. He was drafted 3rd overall by the Thunder in 2009 out of Arizona State.