NBA Free Agency 2020: Why did James Harden reject the offer to become 1st player to earn $50mn salary?

NBA Free Agency 2020: The Houston Rockets are desperately trying to cling on to their star guard – James Harden. With Russell Westbrook likely to leave, the Rockets were hoping that they will get to keep Harden.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Rockets offered Harden a two-year, $103 million extensions. This is in addition to the $132.9 million he is owed over the next three seasons.

We could see James Harden reunite with his former teammate Kevin Durant and coach Mike D’Antoni. This offseason, general manager Daryl Morey also resigned to join the Philadelphia 76ers. Things are unwinding for the Rockets at a dangerous speed.

According to NBA.com, only 5.6 percent of Harden’s shots were catch-and-shoots, and 48.1 percent came after seven-plus dribbles.

More than half (55.7 percent) of his overall field-goal attempts in 2019-20 were three-pointers, per Basketball-Reference, but his game is also somewhat stated on getting to the basket or drawing fouls to shoot from the free-throw line.

Is this a blessing in disguise for the Rockets?

It looks obvious that Harden is not willing to change his playing style under the new coaches. One reason Houston acquired Westbrook was that his friendship with Harden could lead to the latter working off the ball a little more.

Furthermore, by the time that $103 million extensions kick in, Harden will be 34. He will definitely need to adapt to the game by changing his playing style.

Without making some changes in his style of play, it is difficult to see how he can continue to be an efficient offensive player as he gets into his 30s.

If James Harden does join the Nets, the Rockets will likely receive the likes of Caris LeVert and Dinwiddie. The young blood will be looking to make a name for themselves and under a new coach, they might excel.

Advertisement