James Harden wants a max extension from the Oklahoma City Thunder if he's going to stay with the team that he helped take to the NBA Finals in 2012. The problem is, the Thunder might not be able to afford giving their superstar squad a round of max contracts, which could leave Harden as an odd man out.
Predictably, teams have already started to crawl out of the woodwork inquiring about Harden and seeing if he doesn't end up staying with the Thunder. Namely, the Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets have reportedly shown some interest, as ESPN's Marc Stein tweeted:
I know at least two teams near OKC (Houston & Dallas) that are huge Harden fans and will have cap space to sign him to loaded offer sheet— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) September 12, 2012
It will be up to Harden in the end. If he wants to stay with the Thunder and win titles while making a bit less money, it's his call. If he doesn't, there will certainly be teams on the other side of the door waiting to court him with max contracts of their own.