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Harden deserves contract extension from Thunder

James Harden won the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year and an Olympic gold medal, and he also played in the NBA Finals with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Those are just his accomplishments from the past year alone, but the Thunder still has yet to give him a contract extension.

Behind Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade, Harden is the third best shooting guard in the NBA.  He averaged 16.8 points and 3.7 assists on the bench in the 2011-12 season.

Harden will be making $5.8 million entering the 2012-13 season and is seeking a max deal, which he rightfully should.

The Thunder has already locked up Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, and recently extended Serge Ibaka’s contract for four more years, but still nothing for the best bench player in the league.

A player of his caliber should not have to wait to get paid, given Oklahoma City is approaching the salary cap and might not be able to pay the luxury tax that will come along with Harden’s potential new deal.

Harden should get an extension — hopefully by October’s end — but if not, the Thunder will not only lose one of the league’s best players as a restricted free agent, but will be taking itself out of contention and making things easier for the Lakers and Heat to win the championship.

Just pay the man his money, Oklahoma City.


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