If the Oklahoma City Thunder's offer of four years for $53-$54 million wasn't enough for James Harden, what is? The Houston Rockets, Harden's new team as of Saturday night, are planning to ink the young rising star to the max contract of four to five years for $60 million.
Houston cannot officially begin to negotiate with Harden's representatives until the deal between the two teams is completed and blessed by the league. Harden's agent, like all agents, wants to secure the highest payout for his or her client. Getting Harden to Houston is a start in the right direction. The small market team in Oklahoma City didn't want to tie up too much money on future payroll, especially on a player less important than its stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Houston is a significantly larger market with a lower payroll locked in.
One thing that will help Houston justify the larger contract is playing time. Harden will start in Houston and play plenty of minutes.