Truth & Rumors > NBA

How Harden could cost OKC $100M


08:11 AM ET 09.27 | Some believe that the only roadblock between Oklahoma City and James Harden is the luxury tax. The assumption is that the Thunder isn't going to be willing to pay top dollar for Harden, then have to pay millions in luxury tax to the NBA. If the team antes up anything close to what Harden would be worth on the open market, it is going to push the Thunder way above the league's luxury tax threshold. ... [A] team that exceeds the limit by, say, $15 million would owe $28.75 million in luxury taxes. That's a range the Thunder would approach if it signed Harden to a max deal. And remember, that tax would be paid in addition to the combined payroll of all the players. That would put the Thunder on the hook annually for well more than $100 million.

The Oklahoman

James Harden, Icon Sports James Harden, Icon Sports
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September 27, 2012  08:47 AM ET

There's truly no delima a nutshell, if you want to win a ring, pay the lux tax and sign Harden. If you don't, well, lets just say you won't win a ring with KD, Ebok (Ibaka)and RW alone. Simply not enough in today's NBA, you have to have Harden. The choice is yours OKC!

September 27, 2012  08:49 AM ET

OKC will definitely lose players, either the team comes up with a plan that will allow them to spend or you go over the luxury tax threshold, welcome to the big league and what it takes to have a championship team.

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September 27, 2012  09:00 AM ET

They are hoping that P. Jones works out this year and is the steal of the draft because Im sure they dont wanna have to pay that for Harden. Very good player but may not be worth the tax.

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September 27, 2012  09:39 AM ET

They should trade him to the Bobcats for Ben Gordon, Kemba Walker or Ramon Sessions and picks...

September 27, 2012  09:48 AM ET

Why give him that money? For dissapearing in the Finals?

September 27, 2012  09:52 AM ET

Harden is not worth this investment. He is good but not that good. Harden is a bigger, darker skinned version of Jeremy Lin in this respect.

Harden has a crossover, Jumpshot, can get to the hoop off the dribble, plays tough terrific defense, and can beat you off the dribble going left. None of these attributes does one Jeremy Love have. I do however agree his equally not worth the investment, like Jeremy Love!

September 27, 2012  10:05 AM ET

You're Good But Not That Good, Bro.

September 27, 2012  10:13 AM ET

What happened? Perkins said money isn't everything? LOL

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September 27, 2012  10:55 AM ET

Like him or not, Harden is one of those players no team wants to lose. If the Thunder don't pay him, someone else will. Smart money says they'll figure out a way.

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September 27, 2012  11:45 AM ET

$100M Really?

September 27, 2012  11:56 AM ET

If OKC doesn't sign him, he becomes an RFA at the end of the year and the Thunder will probably lose him, getting nothing in return. If they trade him now, their chances of winning the title this year diminish. I think they split the difference by signing him to an extension now and then trading him sometime after this season.

September 27, 2012  12:16 PM ET

$100M is too much dough for a guy that hasn't yet produce at high level consistently few seasons to deserve that much money IMO.
Also he disappeared last finals.

September 27, 2012  12:23 PM ET

The Thunder have no reason to sign him this october to anything unless it is on the Thunder's terms. If he doesn't sign an below market deal to stay on a contender, he'll hopefully be motivated to play like a max player this season. Next summer, several teams (PHX, DAL, HOU, ATL) will offer him a max (max can't be "poison pilled"), so if he has to have the max, they'll match and amnesty Perk (9m/y).

The Thunder have signed alot of young, cheap centers this offseason & Ibaka will play more and more of the 5 with KD moving to the 4 as the league gets smaller and faster.

Harden just needs to decide if he wants a career like Joe Johnson (Overpaid to be a lead player, Multiple All-stars on mediocre teams) or Ginobli (Underpaid to be part of a great nucleus, Multiple All-stars with a year in, year out contender, Probable HOF)


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