The Oklahoma City Thunder have yet to sign guard James Harden to an extension, and he'll become a restricted free agent if he doesn't agree to a deal with the team by Oct. 31. This risks the possibility that a team – say, Harden's hometown Phoenix Suns – could offer Harden a max contract.
Needless to say, Suns fans want the former Arizona State star to come home. Fans chanted "We want James" when the two teams squared off in a preseason game Friday night in Tulsa, Okla., writes Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic.
The Suns have flirted with restricted free agents before, failing in an attempt to sign Eric Gordon and never able to come to an agreement with Joe Johnson in 2005, forcing a trade to the Atlanta Hawks. Harden, who has said he favors staying with Oklahoma City, would likely receive multiple four-year, maximum-contract deals, and Phoenix figures to be prominent among them.
Of course, all of this is moot if the Thunder and Harden come to an agreement before Oct. 31, but that would likely require Harden to accept less than max money.