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Oklahoma City Thunder trade James Harden to Houston Rockets - ESPN


Stashed in: LINSANITY, Basketball

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Wow. At the end of the day, will that difference in his salary even make a difference? Wonder what his side of the story is.

"The Thunder offered Harden $55.5 million over four years -- $4.5 million less than the max deal Harden coveted and will get from the Rockets, sources told ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard."We wanted to sign James to an extension, but at the end of the day, these situations have to work for all those involved. Our ownership group again showed their commitment to the organization with several significant offers," Thunder general manager Sam Presti said in a statement."We were unable to reach a mutual agreement, and therefore executed a trade that capitalized on the opportunity to bring in a player of Kevin's caliber, a young talent like Jeremy and draft picks, which will be important to our organizational goal of a sustainable team."

He's crazy to leave -- the Thunder are real contenders to go all the way this year, even more so if he stays.

And where did the Rockets get all this money after signing Jeremy Lin?

Maybe somebody's contract is either backloaded or incentive-based? Who knows. I think this is a huge loss for both Harden and Rockets, and a so-so make out for OKC.

No, no, it's a huge WIN for Harden and the Rockets.

With a big man like Harden, Linsanity can truly make the Rockets a championship contender.

Joyce found a great Grantland article about the Harden dilemma:

Kevin Durant's Thunder team seems destined to become more of a high-end dynastender — a team that contends for a solid decade while winning somewhere between two and four titles. But that can't happen without James Harden, which is why the negotiations for Harden's contract extension quietly became the NBA's most compelling story about three weeks ago. If Thunder GM Sam Presti doesn't lock Harden up by Halloween, Harden will play out the 2012-13 season and become eligible for a restricted free-agent offer. The odds of a well-below-the-cap team like Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Detroit, Cleveland or Utah offering Harden "the max" (the highest they can go: four years, $64 million) are basically off the board in Vegas. He's getting that money from someone.

For the Thunder to say, Yeah, we can't pay the tax, we're a small-market team, that would be financial suicide — it's not totally genuine. Businesses have ebbs and flows. You can't complain about losing a reasonable amount of money for the next few years (if that's even true — more on that in a second) after raking in profits for five straight years. Nobody feels bad for you, Billionaire Dudes Who Hit The Jackpot With Durant, Hijacked The Sonics From Seattle And Have Been Raking In Money In OKC Ever Since. Seriously. Can it already.

In other words, brilliant move by the Houston Rockets, and utter idiocy on the part of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

James Harden Houston Rockets

The Rockets hoping to use Lin and Harden to attract even more talent.

I don't buy it. In the latest ESPN power rankings they were 26; ex post facto maybe they are in the high teens.

OKC, by contrast, is #3.

This makes as much sense as Shaq leaving the Lakers during their prime; except, imagine Shaq leaving the lakers before they even won the championship, and that's slightly more egregious than Harden/OKC's decision here.

Nevertheless; if it wasn't bout the money, he should get something out through his PR agent to stop the reputation /perception damage amongst fans.

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