First, James Harden plans to relax.
Then, he’ll get down to the business of hammering out a contract extension with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
But rest assured, the reigning Sixth Man of the Year says he has no plans on going anywhere.
“I love it here,” Harden said Saturday during his exit interview.
Serge Ibaka and Eric Maynor join Harden as Thunder players who will be eligible to begin negotiating extensions to their rookie contracts starting July 1. But with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook already signed to max contracts, it’s anyone’s guess how the Thunder will be able to afford all five players.
“I’m just leaving it up to my agent and Sam (Presti),” Harden said. “They’ll do a pretty good job of working it out. I’m focused on several other things right now. But when the time is (right), they’ll figure it out and it’ll be done.”
Harden is widely considered to be a top five shooting guard and potentially a third maximum-allowable contract level player. But he said Saturday that team success is more important to him than money and potentially making more elsewhere.
“This is something special here,” Harden said. “A dynasty is being built here. So we’re winning, we’re having fun and we’re brothers. The other stuff, you can’t buy it.”
Harden said his close friendships with his teammates is an extremely important factor in his decision as well.
“This team is like a family,” Harden said. “Like, we’re really brothers. We hang out most of the time every single day. You won’t find any other team like this. I love it here.”