James Harden reportedly turned down a 4-year, $52 million contract extension with the Oklahoma City Thunder, according to Yahoo! Sports.
The deadline for the Thunder and Harden to agree on an extension is by midnight on Oct. 31.
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 the Thunder did in Serge Ibaka’s four-year, nearly $50 million contract extension, sources said management will try to sell Harden on incentive clauses that could get his deal closer to the $60 million he wants.
It doesn’t feel good for Thunder fans now knowing that Harden is turning down offers made by the Thunder but that’s the way negotiations go. A deal worth $52 million seems pretty low for Harden and it’s also not much more than Ibaka got.
Hopefully there is truth to the rumors that Harden may be able to get near max money with a deal that is heavily incentivized. What we have right now seems to be Harden and his agent Rob Pelinka trying to get him max money while the Thunder of course want to keep him by paying him as little as possible.
My feeling is that if the Thunder can convince Harden he can sign with them for a deal that will get him at least very close to a max offer, he will do it. He wants to stay and is willing to sacrifice some to do so. A $52 million would have been a big sacrifice. I think the Thunder can offer him more and will do so to keep him.