On Friday it was reported that All-Star James Harden agreed to a 4-year, $118 million contract extension with the Houston Rockets, according to Adrian Wojnarowski from the Vertical. The extension includes a salary raise for the next four seasons with a player option in 2020. Respectively for the next four seasons, Harden will earn $26.5 million, $28.3 million, $ 30.4 million, and a $32.7 million player option.
Sources on @TheVertical: All-Star James Harden has agreed to a 4-year, $118M contract renegotiation that takes him through 2020 in Houston.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) July 9, 2016
In a press conference addressing the deal, Harden said, “I’m truly excited more than ever”. Harden also mentioned how Houston was his home, and how is he ready for next season . “Last year was very stressful for all of us, I think. I think there’s some new life year with the coach coming in and some new players”, Harden said. That definitely is not an understatement.
With all of the new changes in addition to a disappointing season, a solid extension with James Harden was needed for the Rockets organization. Harden averaged 29 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 7.5 assists last season and was only second behind Stephen Curry in scoring. Additionally, Harden has been on the All-Star team every year since he has joined the Rockets. Thus, this move validates Harden’s status as a franchise player. The Rockets have recently added players Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson from the New Orleans Pelicans, which will add to the team’s offense. “Eric is extremely talented. He does so many things as well. Obviously, he can create; he can knock down a shot; very versatile. So you add him with a knock-down shooter and big in Ryan Anderson, the floor is going to be that much spread for me to create, get to the lane, and make plays for my teammates”, says Harden.
Former Lakers and Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni is another striking addition to the Rockets. Although, his position has been heavily scrutinized, Harden informed the press that the conversation between him and D’Antoni is great as they talk multiple times a day.
Although the Rockets have some major adjustments to make for next season, positioning James Harden as a franchise player with this contract is a step in the right direction for the Rockets organization.
Spark Sports NBA Analyst