Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle has reported that the Rockets plan to offer James Harden a new contract extension. He currently has a $32 million option for the 2019-2020 season. The new extension is set to be at four years, $168 million.
— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) June 20, 2017
This is a smart move by the Rockets front office. Harden has shown that he is committed to staying in Houston and building a championship team. He agreed to a $118 million contract extension last summer, but this new deal will keep Harden in a Rockets uniform even longer and negates his player option in 2019.
Not only will this help the Rockets for long-term success, but it will also put them in position for immediate success – especially with the offseason now in motion. The Rockets are currently trying to acquire Chris Paul via free agency or Paul George via trade and, if this extension is finalized soon, it will give the targeted players a sense of commitment from Harden. Harden showing how much he wants to be in Houston can help lure star players to the Rockets and contend for a championship.
Harden has been with the Rockets since 2012 after being traded from the Oklahoma City Thunder. He has led the Rockets to a 50-win season in three of his five years in Houston, including a Western Conference Finals appearance in 2015. This is an important offseason for the Rockets organization, as they are looking to keep Harden in Houston and build off their success from last season. Another contract extension will let the team and front office take a sigh of relief.