The Houston Rockets and All-Star James Harden have agreed to a contract renegotiation that could keep the star under contract until 2020, according to league sources.
Harden’s new contract runs down the end of 2019-20 and assures the Rockets of one additional year of the All-Star in 2018-19 due to player option for which he can return to free agency in 2019. It was a surprise announcement from Rockets’ owner Leslie Alexander at a press conference in Houston, where the franchise introduced its free agency recruitment- Ryan Anderson, Eric Gordon and Nene.
Harden was content about the new agreement.
“There’s no indecision,” Harden said at the news conference. “There’s no doubt. There’s new life.”
Why did Rockets secure a longer commitment from Harden?
From Houston’s point of view, the provision in the collective bargaining agreement allowed them to use the cap space to renegotiate the final two years of Harden’s deal. The Rockets added two more years in the contract.
The Rockets can now build around Harden for a longer time. New head coach Mike D’Antoni’s vision is to build a new core around the 26-year-old bearded superstar.
How the new deal rewards Harden
Harden had two year, $34.6 million left in his current contract. The new deal benefits him by adding $10 million and $11 million raises on those salaries. According to Adrian Wojnarowsky of the Vertical, The two additional years in 2018-19 and 2019-20 rewards him by $30.4 million and $32.7 million a year, respectively.
In total, the Rockets are paying the four-time All-star an extra $83.5 million over the next four years. Harden led the Rockets to the Western Conference finals in 2015, after landing in Houston in 2012 in a trade with Oklahoma City Thunder.
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