According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the extension is likely to be worth about $228 million through 2023, where he could make $46.8 million. This would give Harden the largest contract extension in NBA history, and it would come less than a year after Harden signed a four-year, $118 million extension just last summer.
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
Since being traded to Houston just prior to the start of the 2012-13 NBA season, Harden immediately began to ascend towards superstardom. He’s led the team in scoring all five seasons and led the team in assists in four of his five seasons with the team, while leading the Rockets to the playoffs in all five seasons. He’s also made the All-Star team five times and the All-NBA team four times. Most impressively, Harden was switched to the point guard position last season, where he had a career-year, averaging 29.1 points, 8.1 rebounds, and a league-leading 11.2 assists per game.
The Rockets started the offseason by making a blockbuster trade for Chris Paul. This move allows Harden to switch back to his natural shooting guard position, where he first made a name for himself. The addition of Paul should also allow Harden to not have to handle the ball on nearly every possession — it became clear that handling the ball so much wore him down in the playoffs this past season. The Rockets then re-signed Nene and signed free agent forward PJ Tucker, who should both help improve the team’s defense next season which wasn’t very great last season.
In the five years since acquiring Harden, Rockets GM Daryl Morey has aggressively looked to make moves to ensure that Harden has the best possible supporting cast to work with each season. Now able to keep Harden on the team for at least the next six years, the Rockets will continue building around Harden. He’ll be just 28 by the start of the season, meaning Harden still has a handful of years left in his prime to potentially lead the Rockets to a championship.
Harden and the Rockets have committed to each other for the foreseeable future and it looks like a smart move for both sides. It’s clear that Harden has an affinity for the Rockets, while the team and the city of Houston has the same affinity towards him.
Featured Photo Credit: Yahoo