James Harden Extends with Rockets through 2019-20

Apr 27, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) on the bench against the Golden State Warriors during the second quarter in game five of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 27, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) on the bench against the Golden State Warriors during the second quarter in game five of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /

James Harden surprised everyone with an out of the blue extension deal  of an additional 3 years on top of his current contract.

The deal will keep James Harden in a Rockets jersey through to the 2019-2020 season and represents an additional 3 years being added to his current contract.  His original deal had a team option in 2017-18.

After a year of turmoil and regression by the Houston Rockets this shows how dedicated Harden is to remaining with the Rockets.

At 26 years of age this contract will find Harden entering his prime by the contract runs out.

Four-year max for James Harden equates to $118.1 million … $26,540,100 in Year 1 rising all the way up to $32,511,623 in Year 4

— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 9, 2016

Reportedly the deal is said to be worth $118M with this next season finding his salary in the $26.5M range. By the time he reaches the final season it would escalate to $32.5M. One report has the fourth year as a team option and another stated it has a player option.

"“ “ I’m happy to be here for four more years,” Harden said. “This is home for me."

Harden arrived in Houston following a shocking trade i

Rockets will use $9.8M of cap room to given Harden his renegotiated contract. Can still retain Motiejunas cap hold with last remaining room.

— Albert Nahmad (@AlbertRandom1) July 9, 2016

A look at how this affects the Houston Rockets salary situation:

Rockets projected cap breakdown (with the James Harden renegotiation). https://t.co/z2SwWvHxhV

— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) July 9, 2016

Like most breaking news situations in the NBA, Adrian Wojnarowski broke news of the extension and provided insight into the numbers. As per Woj’s article:

A provision in the collective bargaining agreement allows Houston to use its own salary cap space to renegotiate the final two years of Harden’s contract – and add two additional years onto the deal.

For Houston, it is a coup to have Harden secured past 2018, allowing the franchise to continue to build around him for the long term. Harden has bought into coach Mike D’Antoni’s vision and wanted to make a longer commitment to the franchise.

Sources: Over the next four years, Harden will now earn: $26.5M, $28.3M, $30.4M and a player option for $32.7M in 2019-'20.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) July 9, 2016

“Every year we try to build and find better ways to get better and that’s my focus and that’s my priority. This is going to eliminate the (inaudible) and let me focus on the Houston Rockets and I can get better each and every year “- Harden

Harden, Morey discussing four-year deal. pic.twitter.com/r0RD93fyIa

— Brian T. Smith (@ChronBrianSmith) July 9, 2016

“Morey: We began talking with James about it last November as a potential concept and obviously it wasn’t something we could agree on until he was eligible in July:- Morey

While many were expecting the press conference to feature player introductions of new Rockets Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon this announcement came out of the blue.

Surprise announcements aren’t new for Harden who arrived in Houston just prior to the 2012-13 season start following a surprise trade by the Oklahoma City Thunder who were fresh off their finals appearance.

Ironically all discussions surrounding extensions have been focused on his previous running mate Russell Westbrook following Kevin Durant‘s shocking decision to sign with the Golden State Warriors.

So, once again this trio continues to be connected, even on three different teams.

It is interesting, Harden said this will allow him to focus on the team only. One would think after signing a $200M deal with adidas last summer, financials wouldn’t be a major concern for the bearded super star.

Still, Harden has made 4 consecutive All-Star appearances with the Rockets, taken the team to the Western Conference Finals in a year where he vied for MVP and has posted continual top notch offensive production.

He is said to be committed to improving his game and the team and is spending the summer getting ready for that very objective.

SCS will update as free agency news develops. For now if you’re a fan who wants to follow free agency closely check the NBA Free Agency Tracker (updated daily)

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and the Free Agency Profiles for all 30 teams entering Free Agency:

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And early free agent signings:

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Along with articles covering the draft:

Next: Reviewing the top 30 Draft Picks

Next: SCS Editor Mock Draft

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