Clippers Want To Keep James Harden But There’s A Catch

James Harden, Los Angeles Clippers, NBA Rumors
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Clippers and James Harden are exploring a contract extension. However, his value remains a significant question mark, according to The Athletic, adding complexity to the overall situation ahead of NBA free agency.

The Clippers’ financial flexibility is limited, with $169 million already committed to their 2024-25 roster. Due to the limited alternatives for both parties, a reunion seems likely, as the Clippers wouldn’t be able to sign a replacement of Harden’s caliber if he were to leave.

The Clippers acquired Harden to partner with Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, as they didn’t have another means to get a third star. With Harden’s contract expiring, the team faces a crucial decision regarding their future.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: James Harden, Los Angeles Clippers Updates

Last season, Harden averaged 16.6 points and 8.5 assists while shooting 38.1% from beyond the arc. However, his general decline on the court continued, culminating in an underwhelming playoff performance.

In the Clippers’ two losses to close out their first-round exit, Harden shot 7-28 from the floor for 23 points after he scored 33 of a combined 66 points with George to achieve a Game 4 victory at American Airlines Center, forcing a 2-2 series tie at the time. This lackluster performance raises questions about his value and what kind of contract extension he deserves.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: James Harden, Los Angeles Clippers Updates

The Clippers’ impending move into Intuit Dome makes a rebuild unappealing. They wouldn’t want to open a new arena with Leonard and a worse supporting cast.

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