Rajon Rondo headed to New Orleans.
James Harden never wants to leave Houston and is intent on bringing another NBA title to the city the Californian now considers home.
And the Rockets are doing everything possible to make sure the Beard gets exactly what he wants.
The clearest evidence of that came a week ago when they signed him to the biggest contract in league history: a four-year, “supermax” extension that guarantees $228 million over the next six seasons.
“I know where I want to retire ultimately and I know where I want to win a championship,” Harden said Saturday. “Everything is going to happen in Houston and that’s the reason I’m here forever.”
Since orchestrating the trade that brought Harden to Houston from Oklahoma City in 2012, general manager Daryl Morey has known he had a cornerstone player to build a team around. To him, shelling out that much money to keep the 27-yearold off the free agent market until the 2022-23 season was a no-brainer.
“Some of our decisions are hard. This one’s easy,” Morey said. “We’d do more if we could. This was the most they allow us to do.”
The contract extension followed the Rockets’ trade for nine-time All-Star point guard Chris Paul late last month, giving Harden another superstar to help chase Houston’s first title since the Rockets won two in a row in 1994-95.
There have been questions about how the two will fit together in Houston after Harden had the finest season of his career while playing point guard in firstyear coach Mike D’Antoni’s system. But Harden isn’t worried about that.
“I don’t think anybody’s ever seen anything like this before,” he said. “Two guys that can create and facilitate and just do things with the ball that nobody’s done from the one position and the shooting guard position. So it’s going to be fun. I’m excited to be a part of it.”
Harden is excited about his new deal and humbled to have signed the richest contract in NBA history. However, he insists that all those zeros in his bank account will be hollow if he doesn’t take the Rockets to the next level.
“Money is cool ... but it doesn’t really mean anything without holding that championship up,” Harden said. “So that’s what we’re working toward. That’s why I’m in the gym every single day and I won’t stop until I get it.”
Rondo signs with Pelicans
A person with knowledge of the situation of tells The Associated Press that the New Orleans have agreed in principle on a one-year deal with Rajon Rondo.
The person says Rondo is expected to sign his contract next week and the terms are still being finalized. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because an official announcement has not been made.
The deal joins Rondo with fellow Kentucky Wildcats Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins. The addition gives coach Alvin Gentry the flexibility to play Jrue Holiday more at shooting guard, an effective position for him in the past.
Rockets guard James Harden is all in on bringing a championship to Houston.