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Rockets Give James Harden the Largest Contract in Basketball and are Still Making Moves

The Houston Rockets have had quite the offseason. From trading for Chris Paul, to free agent signings and now this enormous Harden extension. However, there is still more work to do and Darryl Morey is not stopping now.

Although, let’s pause for just a moment to clarify how this extension works. When Adrian Wojnarowski reported the extension gave Harden four years & $228 million, there was some confusion.

Harden's progressing toward adding four years onto Houston current deal, an extension that could guarantee him $228M through 2022-23 season. — Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 8, 2017

This tweet is misleading as it doesn’t clarify the source of the $228 million. To clarify, Harden is not receiving an additional 228 but actuality that is the sum total including his current deal. Last summer, Harden signed another big extension that has two more years left on it. Along with those two years, he will make on average $29 million over the next years until this next extension kicks in at the start of the 19-20 season.

His new extension is a grand total of $169,344,000, and ESPN’s Bobby Marks broke it down.

A James Harden four-year extension would start in 2019-20 at a salary of $37.8M, $40.8M, $43.8M and $46.8M. https://t.co/zq5eLKrube — Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) July 8, 2017

The contract concludes after the 22-23 season when Harden will be 33 and exiting his prime. While that last season at 47 million may not be the best value but for the time being having Harden is great for the Rockets. Seeing stars like Kevin Durant and Gordan Hayward jump ship forced the issue on Houston, and they did what they had to.

Harden, the player, is one of the more debated subjects in basketball. As it stands, Harden has twice finished in second place for the MVP in the just the past three years. His talent is undeniable, and he’s improved himself in almost every season. Even with while playing in a brutal West, he has gotten the Rockets to a top four finish two of the last three seasons.

Players of that caliber are scarce to come by and lately, even harder to keep.

His standing in the NBA hierarchy and his elite status have been in question throughout. Harden experiences the same kind of questions that his former teammate Russell Westbrook faces.

$200 million Adidas Deal $228 million Contact extension James Harden is worth almost half a billion and he's only 27. pic.twitter.com/W3urYmaNt9 — Aaron S. Taylor (@GrandmasterATAY) July 8, 2017

If Chris Paul can accomplish anything, just improve one another. Both vastly different personalities and styles of play. The pairing could lead to some great basketball from the two which is just better for all of us.


Now with Harden in Houston for the long haul and Paul in the fold for at least this season, the Rockets may stand a chance in the Western Conference. Hence the interest in Houston attempting to acquire Carmelo Anthony from New York.

After signing Tim Hardaway Jr. to an absurd 71 million they’ve let it be known that they intend to trade Anthony. With little to no chance of a New York buyout, they’ll try to maximize his value before the season. It’s been a steep decline however as the Knicks may not be able to garner a draft pick out of the All-Star.

Anthony, who can be a free agent after next season, has been wasting away in MSG under a shadow of a triangle. Provided that various injuries haven’t helped, the situation in New York is to blame for Melo’s drop in play.

He’s still a player that can put up buckets on his own and if he’s motivated with a team. In view of his dropping efficiency numbers, chalk that up to the mixed motivations of the Knicks front office.

Now with motivation to move Melo out of the fold, the Rockets could get him for 10 cents on the dollar. It’ll take maneuvering from Morey to clear up the cap space but it can be done.

At 33, the time is now for Anthony and he doesn’t get his things together now it’ll be too late.

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