July 14, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; United States forward James Harden (12) stands on the court during USA team training at the DC Armory. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE

OKC Thunder GM Sam Presti addresses James Harden contract situation


Oklahoma City Thunder GM Sam Presti spoke to the media today about a lot of things. The No. 1 question he got was regarding James Harden and the situation surrounding his contract.

The quotes below are courtesy of Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman and Royce Young from Daily Thunder.

“I wish I could tell you how it would end up,” Presti said. “There are certain realities that we face, and there are some inherent challenges we face. I don’t feel comfortable talking about limitations and things we ultimately have to decide on. But we’re making a commitment to try to put a competitive team on the floor. But we have to do the right thing for the organization.”

Once again Presti is sounding less confident now than he has before regarding Harden and his contract. That may be just because Serge Ibaka has been signed to his extension so now we’re hearing things differently since signing Harden now seems a little more difficult.

The biggest reason why it will be so tough for the Thunder to extend Harden is the new CBA which essentially makes it very difficult to hold on to four players like Durant, Westbrook, Ibaka and Harden after their rookie contracts are up.

“For us, I think the best word I can use is ‘this is what it is,’” Presti said. “We’re not going to pass judgment on how it’s going to look or what is going to happen.”

Presti obviously isn’t too excited about the new CBA and how it is affecting the future of the Thunder organization.

Presti also addressed what Kendrick Perkins said regarding Harden how he thought he would sign the extension once he returned to OKC and saw his friends and family.

“One thing we can’t do is put expectations on specific people and how they’re going to react to things,” Presti said. “We’ve had an assistant GM opening but I think Perk’s going to spend more time on the floor.”

Presti went on to answer some non-Harden questions as well. He was asked about Durant working out with LeBron this summer.

“I don’t really pay attention to the narrative of the NBA,” Presti said. “Kevin’s going to work out, he’s going to compete, he’s going to play…he’s going to spend his time wisely in the offseason.”

Presti also had a few things to say about the Lakers and the summer they had.

“We’ve got a tremendous amount of respect for the Lakers,” Presti said. “They’re a great franchise. When you add two players like Nash and Dwight Howard in the summer, obviously that’s going to improve your chances.”

Presti didn’t reveal too much in this presser but did also add that the Thunder would be wearing a new uniform this summer but did not say when. The Thunder are one of the few teams right now that do not have an alternate uniform.

The Thunder have until Oct. 31 to reach an agreement with Harden on a contract extension. Otherwise, he will become a restricted free agent next summer which will make it very hard for the Thunder to keep him, but still possible.

Tags: James Harden Oklahoma City Thunder Sam Presti

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