After turning down a $52 million extension several days ago, Harden's agent, Rob Pelinka, flew from Los Angeles to Oklahoma City on Friday for a final sit-down with Presti. He wanted a max contract of four years, $60 million for his client, and had come to Oklahoma City to push management as far as it would go on an offer.
Before sitting down a final time with Pelinka, Presti became more serious in his discussions with Morey. Houston wanted Harden badly, believed he would evolve into a transcendent franchise star for a championship-caliber team and planned to award him a five-year maximum contract worth nearly $80 million. So, Presti laid out what he wanted for Harden and the original price was steep: Kevin Martin, Chandler Parsons, Jeremy Lamb and three first-round picks, including Houston's own in 2013.
If Houston gives him 5/$80 people will indeed expect a lot out of him.Quote:
Brian Windhorst @WindhorstESPN
LeBron on Harden con't: "I was surprised with the season about to start. He’s a big-time player, Houston got a good one."
58m Brian Windhorst @WindhorstESPN
LeBron on Harden: "Everybody makes sacrifices, either financially or game or whatever. James made sacrifices. He came off the bench."
Brian Windhorst @WindhorstESPN
Wade on Harden: "He wanted his worth & wanted to be featured. He’s a pretty good player. He can live up to billing but the grind is tough."
55m Brian Windhorst @WindhorstESPN
Summarizing Wade, he said Harden got what he wanted with money & being featured guy but that he'll have to live up to bigger expectations
Facts can't be defined in a 5 game sample size. That's not spin, sorry you don't feel that way. I think he's played enough minutes against starters.
While I don't think he's necessarily proven that he can carry a team like Gordon has, he sure as hell shouldn't be counted out because of one bad series. I think constantly referring back to that one series to make a point about his game as a whole is irrational. Especially considering, as Hornets78 pointed out, that LeBron James (one of the better perimeter defenders in the league) was guarding him the majority of the time.
Based on his production with OKC, he's worth the max for them, but they couldn't afford it. He was incredibly productive and efficient for them, even more than Westbrook.
I agree Gordon is better at creating for himself, but I would counter that with saying Harden is better at creating for others.
As far as the "clutch gene" thing it's non-sense. There's no stat that supports it and guys who would be given credit for being clutch often times are worse than guys who wouldn't be considered clutch.
I like Harden, I think he'll confirm that he's an elite player. But like Gordon's health, until he does it it's only speculation and prognostication.
Now where's my paycheck, ESPN?
OKC got about as much as they could out of this trade. Worst case for them is they have Kevin Martin, who gives them a very good scorer off the bench for one season, which is what they had in Harden. They actually have a greater chance of bringing back Martin next year than they did of bringing back Harden, although OKC may decide to keep as low of a payroll as possible for their market.
The two draft picks are no guarantee. Mavs' pick will be a mid to late first rounder. Raptors' pick will most likely be a late lottery pick. Going by the recent history of NBA drafts, chances are neither will do anything in this league. There's no guarantee that Lamb will be anything other than an end of the bench player either.
Either way, I don't think OKC is any worse this year than they would have been with Harden. Harden could be a star in Houston, but his playing time & ball handling opportunities are limited behind Westbrook & Durant. But OKC is far better off for the future than they would have been had they kept Harden.
Houston gave up too much, but they're probably better off now than they were before the trade too. I still think their GM is an idiot though.
The fans seem happy about getting him. The Rockets will be fun to watch, I see them being like the Suns a few years ago just without a good point guard. I bet they wish they would have kept Dragic(Spell check)
Its a great trade for Houston. Harden is a dynamic scorer and great at the pick and roll. He did benefit playing with Westbrook and Durant, but all the guy can do is score. KMart wasn't going to stay so they needed to ship him. Now Morey has gotten his piece. A guy that might not be a number 1 option but IMO he is a top 25 player and only 23.
One of OKCs strength was chemistry, but now its been dealt with a blow. Still the second lineup with Maynor and Martin, might be good enough to combat the Harden loss. Martin can spot up like no other in the NBA, but its his defense thats the concern. lamb is a good prospect with tons of upside and the lottery draft picks will get them prob size and defense. Whats more concerning about this deal, is that Harden only wanted 1 Mill more per season. 1 M more!!! I mean are the Thunder going to be come Shinn stingy. This was a core that could have rivaled with the greats. These guys are all younger than 25. If Maynor does well and the Thunder don't resign him, then we have a problem. This CBA really does not work.