Houston Rockets Make Another Mistake With Contract Extension Given To SG James Harden
Over the past few months the Houston Rockets have made a number of moves. This includes amnestying power forward Luis Scola in attempt to land Dwight Howard, trading away point guard Kyle Lowry, signing point guard Jeremy Lin to an offer sheet that wasn’t matched by the New York Knicks and acquiring shooting guard James Harden from the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The move to let Scola go with very little chance of landing Howard and trading away Lowry were head scratching moves. Instead of going after a proven point guard Lin was significantly overpaid and signed for three-years and $25.1 million.
Yet, an even worse move got made today when Harden signed a five-year $80 million contract extension. With the Thunder he was the no.3 option with Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant getting the most attention from opponents now he’s going to receive that attention.
With no other true scoring threat on the roster his field goal percentage is going drop dramatically from last season and he is a below average defender.
His strengths are his ability to get to the rim and draw fouls. This helped him set career highs in free throw attempts per game with six, scoring at 16.8 points per game and it allowed him to find open shooters when the defense came over to help.
Making the contract even worse is that the shooting guard position is the easiest to replace. For example the Portland Trail Blazers replaced Brandon Roy with Wesley Matthews, last season the Golden State Warriors traded Monta Ellis to the Milwaukee Bucks and first round draft pick Klay Thompson took his spot, the Cleveland Cavaliers needed a shooting guard to take the pressure of Kyrie Irving and drafted Dion Waiters and the Atlanta Hawks traded Joe Johnson to the Brooklyn Nets and now have rookie John Jenkins and veteran Anthony Morrow in his spot.
It’s understandable that the Rockets wanted to take the pressure away from Lin and yet overpaying a shooting guard wasn’t the answer. While the duo will get fans into the seats it’s not likely to translate into many wins.
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