James Harden Turned Down $50 Mil a Year From the Rockets, Wants Trade to the Nets

Ryan Phillips
James Harden, Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Five
James Harden, Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Five / Michael Reaves/Getty Images
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James Harden wants out of Houston and is demanding a trade to the Brooklyn Nets. Adrian Wojnarowski dropped a classic Woj Bomb on Monday revealing Harden had turned down an extension that would have made him the first $50 million a year player in NBA history and is attempting to force a trade to the Nets.

Harden has reportedly made it clear to the Rockets that he only wants to play for the Nets. His desire to join Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn surfaced over the weekend and I wrote that it seemed like a terrible idea. Three ball-dominant players on one team is a recipe for disaster. Especially when each of those guys has historically had trouble working with others.

The Rockets attempted to pitch Harden on a two-year, $103 million extension that would have made him the highest-paid player in NBA history. He declined. That deal would have come on top of the three years and $133 million left on his current contract.

The Rockets want a huge return for Harden and, according to Wojnarowski, Houston doesn't believe the Nets could meet those demands. It appears we're at an impasse here as there have been no substantial talks between the two sides.

Those close to Harden believe he's pulling a move like Anthony Davis last offseason to force his way on to a contending team. That worked out for Davis as he helped lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a title in 2020.

Harden can become a free agent in 2022 if he opts out of his contract. The 31-year-old wants to move on now though and is trying to force the Rockets to send him to Brooklyn. We'll see if it works.

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