2 disastrous mistakes the Rockets must avoid this summer

Brooklyn Nets v Houston Rockets
Brooklyn Nets v Houston Rockets / Bob Levey/GettyImages
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1. Giving James Harden a four-year max contract

The Rockets want James Harden back in Houston, as Harden would help the Rockets on the floor by adding a floor general, which they so desperately need. Off the court, Harden would help the Rockets from a revenue standpoint, which owner Tilman Fertitta surely is interested in, considering the Rockets' attendance ranks in recent years (28th in attendance in 2022-23 and 22nd in attendance in 2021-22).

Fresh off of a 2022-23 campaign in which Harden averaged 21 points and a league-leading 10.7 assists, it's clear that Harden can still contribute at a high level. But the latest reports surrounding Harden are that he's seeking a four-year deal.

This shouldn't be surprising, as Harden did the Philadelphia 76ers a favor last offseason when he agreed to a two-year deal worth $68 million (a one-plus-one deal that allowed the Sixers to add Danuel House, P.J. Tucker, and De'Anthony Melton). It's fair for Harden to want to recuperate the money he lost out on, especially from the team that he voluntarily agreed to take less money from: the Sixers.

If Harden and Daryl Morey agreed to a wink-wink deal last offseason, Harden should absolutely have his sights set on a four-year max contract from Morey. The Rockets don't need to be the team that grants that wish for Harden, as a four-year deal worth $201 million would easily turn into John Wall part two for the Rockets, as a 36-year-old Harden could be considerably worse than the 2022-23 version who had multiple letdowns in the 2023 postseason.

The Rockets' interest in Harden shouldn't extend further than a three-year deal (two-plus-one at the most). The most ideal scenario for the Rockets on the Harden front would be a two-year deal (a one-plus-one), as it would give the Rockets the most flexibility moving forward.

But under no circumstances should the Rockets give Harden a four-year max contract.