Houston Rockets sign James Harden to the biggest contract in NBA history

James Harden #13 (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
James Harden #13 (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

James Harden and the Houston Rockets have just agreed to the biggest contract in NBA History.

On Saturday afternoon, the Houston Rockets signed James Harden to the most lucrative contract in NBA history.

It was first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Brian Windhorst that the two parties were closing in on the behemoth deal.

According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, the extension is worth $170 million, and will start in the 2019-20 season and continue through to 2022-23. Harden has two years and $59 million left on his current contract. Bringing his total guaranteed salary to a whopping $228 million.

Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander issued a statement after the deal was completed, explaining why The Beard is the perfect centerpiece in Houston’s quest for a championship, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

“Since he arrived in Houston, James has exhibited the incredible work ethic, desire to win, and passion to be the best that has made him one of the most unique and talented superstars in the history of the game. Additionally, the commitment he has shown to our organization, the City of Houston, and Rockets fans all over the world makes him a perfect leader in our pursuit of another championship.”

Harden’s massive extension will increase or decrease based on the salary cap. Houston proposed the deal assuming a $108 million salary cap by the 2019-20 season. The great news is that because Harden’s extension doesn’t kick in until 2019, Houston’s salary cap situation won’t be affected in this year or the next. Yes, that means we can still trade for Carmelo Anthony.

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James Harden is worth every penny

This is likely only the beginning of NBA players receiving deals of this size. Stephen Curry just signed what was the biggest deal in NBA history last week, a five-year contract worth $201 million.

Yes, I know that our teachers, police officers and firemen are underpaid and will never make anywhere near $200 million, and it is unfair, but these contracts make business sense. The owners of these NBA teams are basically CEO’s, and the players are their employees. The Houston Rockets are worth about $1.6 billion and they bring in hundreds of millions in annual revenue. A very large percentage of that revenue in generated by Houston’s best player, James Harden. He is worth every penny.

With Harden committed to playing in Houston for the foreseeable future, the Rockets could become a preferred destination for star players around the NBA, as it has for Carmelo if he were to be traded away from New York.

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With the additions of Chris Paul and P.J Tucker, it has been a great offseason for the Rockets. If we can ply Melo away from the Knicks, it would be icing on the cake.