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James Harden wants the MAX

avavalis
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James Harden wants the MAX

http://www.dailythunder.com/2012/09/james-harden-wants-the-max/

Now what? Hope he changes mind? Trade him mid-season? Re-sign him to the MAX?


Nbanflguy
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The max is retarded. Only

The max is retarded. Only superstars should get the max. Now pretty much anyone coming off a good year gets it. Harden is really good, but he is not a max player, although he is better than half the people who get the max.

IndianaBasketball
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The Thunder are dealing with

The Thunder are dealing with Rob Pelinka, who also represents Eric Gordon. You better believe he'll push the Thunder to give Harden the max. He doesn't care about discounts and all that. He's out to get the most for his client.

JaeEvolution
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Man I agree with nbanflguy.

Man I agree with nbanflguy. James Harden is a VERY good player, this is seen by him chopping up second units on a game to game basis and in crunchtime playing next to TWO top ten players. But you can't convince me that he is worth max money, even though he will definitely get max. Only upside to his eventual max deal by whichever team gives it to him, is that he is young.

Chilbert arenas
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I really think this is the

I really think this is the agent pushing for the max and it isn't in Hardens best interests. This would be unfortunate if they took a hard stand with this.

fastdan
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Max these days for a guy

Max these days for a guy coming off his rookie deal, isn't what it used to be. 60ish over 4 years. Where as, for example, Durant's max in the last CBA coming off his rookie deal with 86mil over 5 years.. The word max has lost a lot of it's value. Obviously agents point to examples like Dandre Jordan got about 11mil a year, well my guy (Lopez, Hibbert) is better, and deserves a bit more. Ginobili gets 15ish a year, so my guy (Harden) needs the same. It's not an agent saying 'Harden is a franchise player, give him franchise money'. It just so happens that 'a bit more' or 'same as a similiar player' happens to be max now.

OKC knows if they don't sign him now, someone else will during free agency. With Kobe, Wade, Manu showing their age even more, Harden may be looked at as the best SG in the league as early as next year. If they don't want to pay him, the smartest thing to do is to sign him to max (won't kick in until next season) and deal him in the offseason. They won't let him walk for nothing, and he'll have more value if he's locked in long term because teams don't have to worry about him refusing to sign a long term deal and taking the QO.

UNCbasketballbum
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if Joe Johnson can get a max

if Joe Johnson can get a max contract, then anything is possible. James Harden is a good player, but he's not among the NBA's elite. If Harden demands max money from the Thunder, it's pretty obvious that he will be going elsewhere.

blood
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its just the nba nowadays

just like the guy^ said,almost every one can get max after an allstar year( even close to it)

joecheck88
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I don't know how you solve

I don't know how you solve the problem though. Harden is a fantastic player but more in the 12mil range. Ibaka is good but more in the 7 mil range. I just don't see the point of last years lockout if players continue to get overpaid. It's a serious problem in my eyes.

fastdan
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The problem is agents can

The problem is agents can point to past players contracts of similar players. Jordan got 11mil a year so Ibaka's and McGee's agent can say, 'he got 11, they are similar players, give us a similar contract, or someone else will'. That's why similar players get similar contracts around the same time. Why Duncan, Nash, and Garnett all got close to the same contracts this year. Boston agrees that Garnett is worth something, and the other two guys can say, 'I'm future HOF who still produces at a high level just like him, give me a contract just like him'. Deng and Iggy a few years back. Gay and Josh Smith. Horford and Noah. GM's set the value of players when they offer contracts to other players of similar skill sets/positions/potential/stats.

Unfortunetly what seems to happen is that small market/rebuilding teams offer a player more then they're worth, because it's the only way they can lure free agents, which inflates values of players. So the GSW can't get anyone to sign with them and so they are forced to offer Jordan too much money. So McGee and Ibaka can say they deserve the same. It's a bit of a never ending escalating cycle.that may come to a head in a few years.

But 7 mil for Ibaka? Where does that number come from? What determined that value? That's a bit above the league average. Ibaka is a good starter on a top team. He's not an average player. That's what Travis Outlaw got a few years ago from NJ. You think he's an par with Travis Outlaw?

joecheck88
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I just think that is what he

I just think that is what he is worth. It's not based off of what other people and their contracts. He is a guy that rebounds ok, great shot blocker and can knock down a jumpshot. He is a good piece to a good team. It's more to the point of over valuing someone. 12 mil a year for a shot blocker basically. That's a lot. You're right though, okc has to pay him 12 because someone could offer him 14. It's flawed. Maybe the league needs to install a one max player per team or something like that. Or have different levels of what teams can give players. I'm not sure how you fix it but it needs fixed. It's at a point where any above average starter is probably over paid until you get to Lebron, Kobe, Wade, Durant, etc.

llperez
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like fastdan said, not all

like fastdan said, not all max deals are the same. You cant compare superstars in the middle of their careers on their 3rd or 4th contract getting a max with guys coming off their rookie deals getting a max contract becasue the amounts of money are vastly different. I actually think there are lots of guys worth close tomax deals that are only borderline all-star caliber guys who are coming off their rookie contracts such as harden. Keep in mind, all it takes is one of 30 teams to say hes worth it and some teams dont have any luck signing guys so they go ahead and throw extra cash out there. Harden is a young and improving player, not an all-star any probably never will be an all-star imo, but a very good building piece for any young team.

OKC had to know this was coming, they surley cant be surprised.

omphalos
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After how badly Harden played

After how badly Harden played in the Finals I sure as hell wouldn't give him the max. He looked straight up shook at key moments, and that isn't the sort of player you give a max to.

If he's really holding out for the max then just trade him to Houston for Jeremy Lamb and pieces. Lamb can play a similar role to Harden as 6th man, will be cheaper in the long run, and Houston will jump at the chance to get a guy who could be a franchise player. As much as I love Harden, he can be replaced.

TheArtistPaysth...
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Is Harden better than Rudy Gay or Iggy

They both have deals paying 15 a year. He is equal to those players in my mind, a little less proven but right on par. Those guys were both aways in trade rumors the last couple years and Iggy finally got traded this summer. As much as both guys get shopped their teams know what kind of commodity good players are at any price and if Gay is moved it wont be for the cheap.

He is going to get the max from someone, so they should offer it now. Look I question whether that is a good move but look at how the Eric Gordon scenario played out. The Batum situation was even just as bad. You dont want a guy questioning how much you believe in him and then having him state he doesnt believe in your franchise. Its a lose lose for everyone. It always reminds me of when a 1rst round NFL pick used to hold out and then end up missing camp and cant start for like four games. He always ends up with the same deal both sides know he's gonna get anyway, just get it done.

I think these max deals are getting out of hand too but at least seven teams would give Harden the max, he knows that and they know that.

fastdan
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Exactly. I think OKC is

Exactly. I think OKC is probably offering him around the same as Ibaka right, trying to play a bit of hardball, hoping they crack. But I can see a last minute offer of max because if they let him become a free agency they don't have any leverage if they want to trade him. They need him to be locked into a deal to avoid that Batum/Gordon kind of crap.

IndianaBasketball
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@omphalos That's unfair

@omphalos

That's unfair lol.

Overall, Harden had a very good playoff run. He only struggled in the second round versus the Lakers and the Finals versus the Heat, but who doesn't struggle going up against Kobe, D. Wade and LeBron? The Heat are a GREAT defensive team and they defend the pick and roll great, which is something Harden thrives at.

I mean, he was only 22 years old. Sh*t... LeBron look shook in the Finals vs the Mavs and he was 27.

he_gets_buckets
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He only struggled against the

He only struggled against the Lakers and Heat? Last time I checked they only played in 4 series, so that means he struggled in 50% of his games, so I dont think you can say he had a 'very good playoff run'. It was average at best.

IndianaBasketball
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I won't look up the stats,

I won't look up the stats, but he was great versus the Mavs averaging 18 and shooting near 50, 40 and 90... Getting to the line damn near 8-9 times. He had a great overall series and busted their ass in the closeout game.

He struggled with his shot versus the Lakers, but he competed. He was getting to the line damn near 8-9 times per game and shooting in the low to mid 90's. He showed up in a big way in the closeout game. I won't say he played *poorly* this series, but his shot just wasn't falling... He still stayed aggressive.

He was the Thunder's 2nd best player vs the Spurs. He had a phenomenal series shooting the ball. He made big shot after big shot after big shot down the stretch of close games against arguably the best team in the NBA at that time. I mean, you can't ignore what he did on this stage against a great team like the Spurs.

The series versus the Heat is the only series he literally just played poorly and was unrecognizable as a player. Other than a game or two, he wasn't even aggressive. He was playing wreckless, getting charges and just looked lost. The Thunder just never really got him going. He just never looked comfortable.

Overall, you have to look at his postseason as very positive. The fact he struggled so much in the Finals doesn't take away all of the other things he did during the playoffs.

omphalos
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I'm not talking about being

I'm not talking about being unable to create his own shot against a great defensive team, I mean not being able to hit WIDE OPEN jumpers, and then passing them up after missing them. If he played hard and came up short I'd get it, but he was a shell of his former self in that series. If you're a guy wanting max money you should have to earn it by performing under pressure.

I'm not saying Harden can't bounce back, but the timing of this just doesn't sit well with me; Durant's numbers were great in the Finals and Westbrook even managed to curb his excesses to a degree, but the third pillar in Harden just didn't show up, and if he had things could have been very different. Sure he had a great regular season, but even the Sixth Man of the Year is still a sixth man, and he doesn't deserve max money. Hell, he wasn't even the focal point of the D's attention in the playoffs because Durant barely took a sub in the whole post-season.

I've always liked Harden as a player, but for all the talk about family, brotherhood and building a "dynasty" in OKC, he screwed the pooch by putting the Thunder in this position.

surve
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I kinda agree with what you

I kinda agree with what you are saying. Harden looked like the pressure of the moment was too much for him. He lost his confidence and aggressiveness. Does that mean he wont bounce back, absolutely not...but the timing is not good for this. Reason being is, we truly dont know how good Harden is....I mean he may not be as effective playing in more of a lead role on another team. Being a 6th man on a team with two top-10 players can make you look very good. Also Serge really stepped his game up this year, so Harden had a lot of help around him and he didnt have to be that guy.

The bottom line is, no matter what a guy says about wanting to stay with their current team, its all hogwash. There probably isnt a player out there now who wont seek the most money they can get. Its not because they are really greedy either, but just how the market has been set around them.

Mkadoza
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This is exactly what the new

This is exactly what the new CBA is supposed to create. If a team has 4 potential superstars, you should be forced to get rid of one or two of them. The issue is you can still sign older superstars to cheaper multiyear contracts, and sign-and-tradie for big time all stars, although the Knicks, Lakers, and Heat (Bosh of all people is the biggest cap drain) will suffer because of said sign-and-trades. If the luxury tax hit isnt enough to deter teams from loading up on older, proven talent, a la the Yankees, than this will continue. If teams don't wanna pay it, than you'll see players like Harden going to other teams as the franchise player.

All in all I think its good for basketball, and it'll be interesting to see how negotiations play out. This should be an indicator case for the rest of league when it comes to dealing with young potential superstars on teams with paid players. For example, Barkley probably would have left the Sixers with Julius and Moses post rookie contract, if both were signed long term. This could lead to a normalization of most teams, though teams like the Nets with stupid rich owners could shrug off the cap hit to be consistent contenders.

FastAndFurious
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As Indy said Rob Pelinka

As Indy said Rob Pelinka represents Harden and he is going to get the most money for Harden he can, as you all know the more money the client makes the more money the agent makes....go figure.

LerinErin
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I am probably in the minority here

I kind of assume almost every player wants to make as much money as possible, Hell I sure would if I were a player. It isn't the players fault, it is the owners..,

If owners spent wisely, this wouldn't be a problem. No one is forcing GMs to overpay.

That said I think Harden at 4 years at 16 million per year would be a steal compared to JJohnson for 4 years at 22 million a year.

I guess the only problem is that the CBA isn't strong enough in penalty for big market, rich owner team going over the cap.

Example, I have no problem with the Knicks paying Lebron 100 million a year if they had. To spend an additional 250 million in tax that would only go to teams smart enough to be under the cap.

In all honesty teams like the Lakers, Celtics and Knicks earn so much money, why not let them spend it? Ju

surve
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"I kind of assume almost

"I kind of assume almost every player wants to make as much money as possible, Hell I sure would if I were a player. It isn't the players fault, it is the owners..,"

From the outside looking in, it appears that way, but I dont know if I believe every single athlete is like that. me, I am not that type of person....I can honestly say there wouldnt be a difference in $8 mil and $12 mil to me. The way I spend and the way I view money is different. For me, it would be my overall happiness. If I really loved a city and my teammates and fit in good. If I didnt, then I would look to go elsewhere. Also, you may have a dream team, like Melo did with the Knicks.

Maybe Harden isnt totally happy personally at OKC, although it certainly appears he is. We really arent inside of his head. Maybe he wants to be the superstar on another team.

I say all this to ultimately say, we always think its the player, and its NOT. Its the AGENT! The agents job is to get the best deal for his client regardless of what the client thinks. In the end even if the client isnt happy with signing with another team, they will always point to the fact that they got the best deal they could get at the time or they got max.

Being a top agent means getting the best deals....thats how they gain clients, from their track record of brokering these deals. Harden may say he will take a pay cut to stay in OKC, but you better believe if it even comes down to manipulation, the agent simply wont allow him to do so....citing all types of reasons why he should take the money and run.

Pick-and-nothing
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I really don't understand

I really don't understand this. So are we all saying that Harden is not on his way to becoming a top 20 player in the league?

I will not pretend to be a Harden expert but it seems with his efficient scoring numbers and his low usage rate that once he becomes that high usage rate player his numbers will only increase. I'd say they increase to an elite level. 20-26 ppg, almost 5 rpg & 5 apg.

He is pretty young. I'd say All-Star without doubt, potential superstar.

Side note:

I personally hope the Jazz go for him with a Milsapp or Jefferson plus our lotto pick next year. Maybe include a young player of ours as well. Preferrably Burks or Kanter. I do think that Hayward and Harden might end up too similar as players though, both remind me a hell of a lot of Ginobli.

surve
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"So are we all saying that

"So are we all saying that Harden is not on his way to becoming a top 20 player in the league?"

not necessarily. he looks as if he could....but we just cant be sure. that really doesnt have much to do with max. if a team thinks he has that type of potential, they will pay it.

iguapops420
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Harden isn't a Max player

Harden isn't a Max player but someone (PHX) will pay him as such. On the right team he can very well look as good as Joe Johnson once did, but personally, I don't know what makes him think he deserves it. Hell, it took Ginobli 3 contracts to get payed the money he's getting now. The guy was in the L 7 years before breaking 10 Mil a year. Not to mention had already been an All-star and 6MOY by that time.

I'm expecting that chewing up second units looking like he's still in college has made Harden think he is better than he actually is.

@Indiana, he may have had trouble with Kobe/Wade, and I understand that's why you give him a pass for sucking those series, but let's get real, for the next 2-3 years, those are the 2 SG's he is going to have to have go through and if he is earning max money, he better be able to match the other two the same way they do each other. At least Joe Johnson and Gino are able to do the same.

I've actually thought about an idea for OKC. It's somewhat of a step back, but may also be a financial leap forward.

Harden/Perkins(abismal contract)/Perry Jones III for Maggette/Drummond/Stuckey

Detroit gets the ballhandling stud 2 beside of Knight allowing him to focusing on shooting scoring instead of being a natural 1. Perkins can be the banger beside of Monroe like he did with KG and would turn Detroit back into a playoff team with depth. Not to metnion Jones has All-star potential and could play nicely beside either Perk or Monroe.

OKC gets a potential superstar 5 who is strong enough to defend Bynum and Athletic enough to go against Dwight. Stuckey can manage to play the same 6th man role as Harden( to a degree less) and they can get some more scoring punch off the bench from Gette while getting around 10mil a year taken off the books at the end of the year.

Given that may be a bad trade, perhaps Stuckey's lack of shooting becomes an issue beside of Westbrook or perhaps it works they all gell nicely and get a guy bringing the same impact as Harden for about 6 Mil less peryear.

Cavaliers420
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UNCbasketballfan is right. If

UNCbasketballfan is right. If Joe Johnson can get the kinda money that he managed to get, anyone can get a max contract. Especially James Harden imo. A ton of teams would kill for his talent on their teams.

theballerway
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forget all that family stuff

forget all that family stuff this is a business still as they say. It in his best interest to get the most money especially si young in his career. If he gets injured or has another poor showing he maynever ghetthe chance again. Beore the playoffs concluded guys were saying hes a top 5 shooting guard . If so then hes a max player. I d like to see how he does on his own team to be honet but that just for my curiousity.

All Im saying is everyone else on the team down to Perk goyt a nice fat deal why she he sttle for less. If the family is that important the team should pay the taxes imo.

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