Houston Rockets All-Star guard James Harden has agreed to a four-year, $118 million renegotiation that could keep him under contract through 2020, league sources told The Vertical.
The deal assures the Rockets of one additional year of Harden under contract in 2018-19 because of a player option that could return him to free agency in 2019, sources said.
Rockets owner Leslie Alexander made the surprise announcement at a news conference in Houston on Saturday, where the Rockets had planned to introduce the new free-agent signings of Ryan Anderson, Eric Gordon and Nene.
"There's no indecision," Harden said at the news conference. "There's no doubt. There's new life."
A provision in the collective bargaining agreement allows Houston to use its own salary cap space to renegotiate the final two years of Harden’s contract – and add two additional years onto the deal.
For Houston, it is a coup to have Harden secured past 2018, allowing the franchise to continue to build around him for the long term. Harden has bought into coach Mike D’Antoni’s vision and wanted to make a longer commitment to the franchise.
"We're building a new core with James here," Houston general manager Daryl Morey said at the news conference.
Harden had two years and $34.6 million left on his deal through 2018, and the renegotiation gives him nearly $10 million and $11 million raises on those salaries – and two new years in 2018-19 and 2019-20 at $30.4 million and $32.7 million a year, respectively.
In total, the Rockets are paying Harden an additional $83.5 million over the next four years.
Harden, 26, is a four-time All-Star and two-time first-team All-NBA selection. He was traded to the Rockets in 2012 in a deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder and led the Rockets to the 2015 Western Conference finals.