Before the NBA Finals started, most people were in agreement that the Oklahoma City Thunder needed James Harden to win a title. Now that his first Finals appearance was anything but a success, many are wondering what his worth is to the Thunder and if he should even be a part of their future if it comes down to Oklahoma City having to choose between re-signing Harden or Serge Ibaka since both are due for massive raises next summer.
One man who does not see his future anywhere except in Oklahoma City is the reigning Sixth Man of the Year himself who said last weekend that he think he will sign a contract extension this summer.
“They’ll do a pretty good job of working it out,” Harden said. “I’m focused on several other things right now. But when the time is (right), they’ll figure it out and it’ll be done.”
Maybe it is because I am a Spurs fan and I see so much Manu Ginobili in Harden, but I would choose Harden over Ibaka if it comes down to one or the other. He is great at getting to the rim, he is a good shooter and he is the third scorer the Thunder really need to go next to Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant.
There is a new option that has been suggested, tossed around, however. ESPN’s Ryen Russillo tweeted Monday that the Thunder and Boston Celtics both have interest in Florida guard Bradley Beal, and quickly followed up by saying he did not think the Celtics could move up, the Thunder though…
“Both OKC/BOS love Beal, Boston has zero shot, would be interesting to see how much OKC “loves” him.
“Look, I doubt OKC would do Harden for #2, unless they are convinced Beal is a sure thing, also sets up better financially for OKC.”
Trading Harden for a draft pick and not much else would alleviate several financial concerns for Oklahoma City, but does that matter if the pick they trade for is not as good as Harden? I am not sure if he is a max player, but Oklahoma City would be smart to extend Harden before someone offers him a max deal next summer and they are forced to match it or let him walk and get nothing in return.