James Harden Explains Not Sign Extension With The Nets: ‘I Don’t Plan On Leaving’
However, Harden has made it clear that the Nets have “nothing to worry about.” Harden said to not read anything negative into his decision to pass on an extension before the deadline.
“Honestly, I’m just focused on getting healthy, getting my body right and then preparing for a great season,” Harden said. “The contract, the money is going to be there.”
Harden continued, “I don’t plan on leaving this organization and the situation that we have. So my focus, honestly, is just focus on the season and then winning the championship. The contract and all that stuff will bear itself out, but my focus is going to be locked on this season.”
Harden’s decision to pass on an extension allows the Nets’ All-Star to opt in on his $47.4 million contract for 2022-23 and sign a four-year, $223 million extension at the start of free agency next summer. Harden would earn $61.8 million in the last year of the extension and become the first player to surpass $60 million in one year.
“Last year was a whirlwind for me individually as far as my health and playing,” Harden said. “So this year I feel like I need to come back and show I am one of those guys. So I’ve got a lot to prove myself, and that’s all I’m worried about and focused upon. I love it here, myself and Joe Tsai and Clara Wu Tsai and Sean Marks and the front office and Oliver Weisberg and Steve Nash. From top to bottom the communication has been unbelievable, it’s been amazing. I feel at home. It’s nothing to worry about. For me individually I just want to focus on this year and that’s it.”