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James Harden not rushing into signing Brooklyn Nets extension

For many he's the best shooting guard in the NBA and most believe he will be staying on in Brooklyn, though the player's latest comments are far from committal.

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James Harden
Al Bello AFP

James Harden is readying himself for his first full season with the Brooklyn Nets after his January move from Houston. Alongside Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving he shares the limelight, unlike at the Rockets where he shone alone, but injuries hampered his early spell and played their part in ending the desired road trip to the championship.

Harden ponders Nets contract extension

The Nets have bet everything on their Big Three and the focus this coming season is to have them all fit and firing through to a title win, but they are already considering about whether or not they will be able to maintain this over the longer term, whether or not they achieve their immediate goals. Of the three, Harden has been the most outspoken about his contract situation recently, and in his latest interview was less than committal over the extension option.

Speaking with Malika Andrews for ESPN’s SportsCenter the Nets point guard had this to say:

"You know, I think over the course of my career I’ve never been a free agent before, so I’ve always just been loyal and just signed it, you know, the contract extension. Just being there, being there, being there. I just want to take my time with it. It would be very, very difficult to leave here, or to even leave Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving.

“But I think this season I just want to focus on winning the championship and everything else will work itself out."

OK, Harden’s words can be taken a variety of ways but most commentators in the game are fairly confident that we’re unlikely to see him flirting with the market as a free agent anytime soon. His current deal runs through to 2023 but that final season, 2022/23 is optional, with Harden making the decision.

With so much money expected to be on the table, around ¢160 million over four years, we expect pen to be put to paper soon, even if he chooses to get involved in trade talk before it runs out. That said, until the signature is in place, nothing can be taken for granted.