Nets guard James Harden explained why he has yet to sign a contract extension, indicating he may like to instead at least test free agency for the first time.
“You know, I think over the course of my career I’ve never been a free agent before, so I’ve always just been loyal and just signed it, you know, the contract extension,” said Harden told Malika Andrews of ESPN. “Just being there, being there, being there. I just want to take my time with it.”
Harden, 32, is entering his first full year with the Nets following a trade with the Rockets early last season. He averaged 24.6 points, 10.8 assists and 7.9 rebounds in 44 games overall.
He is eligible for a three-year, $161.1 million contract extension on top of his 2022-23 season — or could sign a five-year, $235 million deal during the 2022 offseason.
He rejected a two-year, $103 million extension with the Rockets prior to the trade with the Nets.
While Harden may want to be a free agent, he did make it sound as if Brooklyn is in his long-term plans.
“It would be very, very difficult to leave here, or to even leave Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving,” he told Andrews. “But I think this season I just want to focus on winning the championship and everything else will work itself out.”
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