James Harden a 'sure thing' to sign contract extension with Rockets, according to report

Mike DiNovo-US PRESSWIRE

New Houston Rocket James Harden could stay a Houston Rocket, according to a USA Today report.

Those thinking James Harden's stay with the Houston Rockets would be a brief one might be surprised by a USA Today report that calls Harden's re-signing with the Rockets a "sure-thing."

In a look at 2009 draftees still looking to sign extensions, USA Today's Sam Amick writes that Harden -- who was recently acquired by the Rockets after failing to sign an expected longterm deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder -- told reporters he expects to sign a new deal with Houston before Wednesday's 5 p.m. ET deadline. Houston can offer a max of four years, $60 million or five years, $80 million, figures OKC obviously wasn't willing to pay the reigning Sixth Man of the Year.

A restricted free agent, Harden would likely command a max deal from a team seeking a superstar -- such as Houston, or the oft-rumored Harden destination Phoenix Suns -- should he fail to reach an extension with Houston Wednesday and thus hit free agency following the 2012-13 season.

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