James Harden is reportedly all-in on getting out of Houston and going to Brooklyn.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Harden turned down a $50 million a year extension and straight up told the team to send him to Brooklyn via trade so that he can team up with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant.
Sources: After turning down an extension offer to become the first $50M a year player in league history, James Harden’s message to Houston is clear: Get me to Brooklyn. Rockets and Nets have been in contact, but there’s been no meaningful dialogue. https://t.co/qwJOQOxz5U
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 17, 2020
After turning down the chance to become the first $50 million a year player in league history, Houston Rockets guard All-NBA guard James Harden has made it clear to ownership that he’s singularly focused on a trade to the Brooklyn Nets, sources tell ESPN.
As Harden’s conversations with the Nets stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving ramped up in recent weeks on the West Coast, sources say the Rockets made a pitch for him to sign the maximum allowable extension — two years and $103 million on top of the remaining three years, $133 million on his current deal.
As of now, the Rockets have not been in a hurry to get into trade talks with the Nets.
So far, Harden’s determination to get to Brooklyn has resulted in no progress toward that end. Houston and Brooklyn have been in contact, but so far have engaged in no meaningful dialogue, sources said. The Rockets want a massive return of assets for Harden, and are willing to be patient to find that in the marketplace. So far, there’s no indication that the Rockets believe the Nets could deliver a package that fits that profile.
Because Harden’s under contract for multiple years, Houston has the ability to slow-play the process, flesh out offers and use that time to try and change Harden’s mind. Houston’s preference has remained to work through the issues and keep him long-term, but that’s clearly a difficult road right now.
This is a pretty astonishing turn of events but the Rockets seem intent on keeping Harden for as long as they can before giving into his demands.