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Star rejects richest deal in NBA history

Houston star James Harden has reportedly knocked back the richest deal in NBA history to force a trade to a rival team. Rumours have swirled all week that Harden wants out of the Rockets while the team self-implodes after a turbulent season from hell.The 31-year-old scoring machine’s reported determination to leave the Rockets comes after…

Houston star James Harden has reportedly knocked back the richest deal in NBA history to force a trade to a rival team.

Rumours have swirled all week that Harden wants out of the Rockets while the team self-implodes after a turbulent season from hell.

The 31-year-old scoring machine’s reported determination to leave the Rockets comes after reports that Houston’s other superstar Russell Westbrook also wants to leave, following coach Mike D’Antoni and GM Daryl Morey out the door.

The rumours surrounding Harden became much more than speculation on Tuesday (AEST) when ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the former Thunder guard has rejected a two-year monster contract extension that would see Harden locked in for five years until the end of the 2024-25 season.

The report outlines that the two-year deal would see Harden become the first player in league history to earn more than $US50 million in one season.

Harden reportedly has $131.5 million remaining on his contract with the Rockets which has another three seasons to run.

The latest offer from the Rockets would see Harden take in $US103 million in the final two years of his contract — more than $140 million, or $70 million per season.

It would take Harden’s five-year deal at the Rockets to the stunning figure of $272 million.

Having rejected the offer, Wojnarowski reports Harden has made it clear that he wants to move to the Brooklyn Nets to link up with fellow All Stars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant in a new super team.

Meanwhile, Ten-time All-Star Chris Paul is set to join the Phoenix Suns from the Oklahoma City Thunder as part of a blockbuster deal that sends four players and a draft pick the other way, reports said on Tuesday (AEDT).

ESPN reported that Paul and teammate Adel Nader would head to the Suns in exchange for Kelly Oubre, Ricky Rubio, Ty Jerome and Jalen Lecque.

Oklahoma City would also receive a 2022 first round draft pick as part of the move, which signals the Suns’ determination to break into playoff contention next season.

Paul, 35, had two more seasons remaining on his Oklahoma City contract after joining the Thunder in 2019 following two seasons at the Houston Rockets. Prior to that Paul spent six years with the Los Angeles Clippers.

The move will see Paul join up with Phoenix’s Devin Booker, one of the brightest talents in the NBA.

Phoenix have not made the post season since 2010 but impressed during the NBA’s restart in Orlando earlier this year, going 8-0 and just failing to clinch a place in the playoffs.

— with AFP

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