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James Harden Wants to extend his contract to ‘End Career’ With Clippers

    During Tuesday’s game between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Oklahoma City Thunder, reports emerged that James Harden has expressed his desire to secure a long-term contract and finish his career with the Clippers, according to B/R and TNT’s Chris Haynes. Harden, a seasoned point guard, is set to become an unrestricted free agent after the conclusion of the 2023-24 season.

    This isn’t the first time we’ve heard such sentiments from Harden. In the past, he indicated a similar desire to retire with his current team, including during his time with the Brooklyn Nets. However, the situation took a turn, leading to Harden forcing a trade to Philadelphia.

    In 2017, after signing an extension with the Houston Rockets, Harden spoke about feeling at home and wanting to retire in Houston. Unfortunately, none of those aspirations materialized in Houston, Brooklyn, or Philadelphia. Now, the question looms as to whether it will be any different in Los Angeles.

    The Clippers, since Harden’s arrival, have displayed commendable performance. Still, past experiences suggest that initial success doesn’t guarantee long-term commitment. Complicating matters is the Clippers’ financial landscape, with significant commitments to Kawhi Leonard, ongoing talks with Paul George for an extension, and considerable financial allocations to other key players.

    Considering the reported $52 million committed to Leonard and potential extensions for George, the Clippers might face challenges offering Harden the desired long-term, max extension. Moreover, Harden, at 34, has exhibited a decline in performance, currently ranking as the team’s third-best player with averages of 17 points and 8.4 assists per game.

    The debate over whether the Clippers should invest in a max deal for the aging Harden raises questions about the team’s willingness to navigate financial constraints and commit to a player who may not be the force he once was. As discussions unfold, it remains to be seen whether the Clippers will go the extra mile to retain Harden or if the notion of him retiring with the team will fade into the background if financial considerations take precedence.

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