Harden, the runner-up to Russell Westbrook for the NBA’s MVP this season, has two years and $59 million left on his current contract. The four-year extension carries a value of $170 million and is the richest extension in NBA history.
The Rockets have fast-tracked the Harden extension with the arrival of All-Star guard Chris Paul and are turning full attention to completing a deal with the New York Knicks to acquire eight-time All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony in a trade, league sources said.
With the megadeal, Harden is taking advantage of brand-new CBA rules that enable contract extensions for superstars. He became eligible to add four years to his deal after making the All-NBA team in May, and the Rockets became focused on locking him into an extension after their season ended.
“Houston is home for me,” Harden said in a statement released by the Rockets. “[Owner Leslie Alexander] has shown he is fully committed to winning, and my teammates and I are going to keep putting in the work to get better and compete for the title.”
Part of the pitch was the Rockets’ activity this offseason, as they’ve been one of the most aggressive teams in the summer at adding talent and convincing Harden to give the organization a long-term commitment. Harden worked to recruit Paul in June, with Harden spending time with the star point guard and convincing him they could be successful on the floor together.