Ra­jon Rondo headed to New Or­leans.

The Oklahoman (Sunday) - - SPORTS - FROM WIRE RE­PORTS

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.

[PHOTO BY BRYAN TERRY, THE OK­LA­HOMAN]

Rock­ets guard James Har­den is all in on bring­ing a cham­pi­onship to Hous­ton.

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