|James Harden thinks he'll be with the Thunder long-term. (Getty Images)|
James Harden's impending free agency next summer is a big mark of discussion. There's a lot of debate about whether the Thunder can afford to keep him, and Serge Ibaka, as well as Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, both on max extensions.
But there's the possibility the Thunder just agree to pay out for him, and deal with the consequences. There's also the possibility Harden takes less money. Either way, in his comments to SI.com this week, Harden sounds like he thinks he'll be in the Sooner State a while.
"I'm pretty, a hundred percent, I'm pretty sure that I'm going to be in Oklahoma City," Harden said with a slight stutter. "I'll let my agent and Mr. Presti and [Thunder owner Clay] Bennett discuss all that, so I'll let them handle that and stay out of it for right now and worry about the USA Olympics."
When asked if he was at all enamored with the idea of being a more featured player elsewhere, Harden said, "I love winning. We have some great guys over here, something special, something I don't think any other team in the NBA has - young guys who got drafted basically together, year after year after year. We've got something special, so I'm focused on what we have and trying to win a championship with these guys."
Things usually sound peachy keen before the real talks begin, becuase both sides assume the other one is going to give them what they want. So Harden's agent will think he'll get the money, and the Thunder will think things can get done. It won't be until the details start getting worked on that problems could arise. But they may not.
Much like Harden's comments, it's a little unclear at this point. Make like a Magic Eight-Ball and check back later.