The Rockets owner, Leslie Alexander, praised his star guard for “incredible work ethic, desire to win, and passion to be the best” in a statement. Alexander added that Harden is “a perfect leader in our pursuit of another championship.”
This deal surpasses the $201 million, five-year extension that Stephen Curry signed last week with the Golden State Warriors. Curry was the first NBA player to sign an extension contract over $200 million.
CBS News said since Harden’s new contract doesn’t start for another two seasons, the money lavished on this lucrative deal does not affect the team’s “aggressive pursuit” of other talented players this summer, as the Rockets attempt to overtake the star-studded champions Golden State Warriors.
Harden became eligible for a “supermax” extension, in part, because he was named a first team All-NBA player, according to CBS News. This new type of contract extension give players long-term security and can improve teams’ chances to compete successfully for a championship.
In a statement, Harden called Houston his home. “Mr. Alexander has shown he is fully committed to winning and my teammates and I are going to keep putting in the work to get better and compete for the title,” he added.
According to NBA.com stats, the 2016-17 season was Harden’s finest. He averaged 29.1 points, an NBA-leading 11.2 assists and 8.1 rebounds. He was the runner-up in MVP voting this year.