Trading James Harden an Option for OKC?
With a Wednesday deadline looming for a contract extension for James Harden, general manager Sam Presti and agent Rob Pelinka have been meeting for the past two days in Oklahoma City trying to work out a deal, sources told Yahoo Sports.
Harden, 23, recently turned down a four-year offer worth about $52 million, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. Harden, last season’s Sixth Man of the Year, has been pushing for a maximum contract extension of four years, $60 million.
Nevertheless, the fact the two sides are still negotiating suggests there could be a deal to be made somewhere between the Thunder’s latest offer and Harden’s desire for a max contract.
As one league executive with relationships on both sides of the talks said, “You’re asking a player to take less money and remain a non-starter. Harden can start and go make more money. …That’s a tough sell.”
If Harden doesn’t sign the extension, several league executives believe Presti could begin to explore trades for Harden sooner than later. Most believe it would be riskier to overhaul the Thunder – a championship contender – near the Feb. 21 trade deadline because it’s too close to the start of the playoffs.