James Harden Close to a Deal with OKC?
With the deadline fast approaching for the Thunder to come to terms on a contract extension for James Harden, a potential sliver of hope was heard Wednesday afternoon.
Thunder center Kendrick Perkins, speaking following an appearance at a Thunder Fit event at a local middle school, said the two sides are “getting close” on a deal that would keep the reigning Sixth Man of the Year in Oklahoma City.
Harden is eligible to receive an extension of up to four years. Harden is believed to be seeking a contract worth the maximum allowable amount, which could be $58 million. But with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook already inked to maximum deals, as well as Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins recently signing high-dollar extensions, the Thunder might not be able to afford to keep Harden with more severe penalties for teams that exceed the tax level set to kick in prior to the 2013-14 season.
If Harden doesn’t sign a deal by Oct. 31 he will become a restricted free agent next summer, which would allow him to hit the open market but gives the Thunder the right to match any deal he might be offered.