Harden is taking a page from Davis and Klutch Sports’ playbook, which forced the New Orleans Pelicans to trade him to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2019. One year later, Davis won a championship.
Harden reportedly made his intentions clear to the Rockets’ new management, led by first-time general manager Rafael Stone, when he rejected a two-year, $103 million extension that could have locked him in Houston for the next five years.
Harden believes his window to win a title with the Rockets ended when they parted ways with long-time general manager Daryl Morey and coach Mike D’Antoni.
The idea of forming a super team in Brooklyn came to shape in recent weeks. Harden had conversations with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving that ramped up his decision. The Rockets, however, made it known to the Nets and the rest of the league that they expect a massive haul in return for their franchise player.
“That means young players, draft picks and salary-cap relief,” Wojnarowski said on Monday night’s edition of ESPN’s Sports Center.
The Nets need to give up the farm for James Harden. pic.twitter.com/L7K1VK8OYS
— alder almo (@alderalmo) November 17, 2020
With three years left in Harden’s contract, including a player option on the third year, the Rockets plan to play this out and create a bidding war if the situation is no longer salvageable.
It appears Harden has already made up his mind.
The 31-year old superstar hopes to have his next two years contending for the title with the Nets before he can opt-out and decide what to do next with his career.
His contract fits the timeline of Durant and Irving with the Nets. Durant and Irving have three years left, a player option in the third year, in their respective contracts.
Harden played with Durant in Oklahoma City before he got traded to the Rockets in 2012. On the other hand, he played with Irving at Team USA.
Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo