Tahlequah Daily Press

December 12, 2012

Thunder at 4 p.m.: Time will tell who got the best of the Harden deal

The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — We always knew Oklahoma City had several suitors vying to trade for James Harden earlier this summer. But now some of those trade details are starting to make their way to the public arena.

According to reports, the Washington Wizards had a deal on the table with Oklahoma City to trade for the Sixth Man of the Year, but turned it down due to money concerns.

The trade would have sent Harden to Washington in exchange for rookie guard Bradley Beal and second year forward Chris Singleton.

There was no mention of the Thunder getting any of Washington's drafts picks. However, according to the report in the Washington Post, Wizards owner Ted Leonis didn't pull the trigger on the deal because he didn't want to hand out a five-year $80 million contract to Harden.

It could take a few years before we know who got the better of the deal between Houston and Oklahoma City (17-4), which has the second best record in the NBA. But we may already be able to tell that Washington is the overall loser.

With the Rockets, Harden is fifth in the NBA in scoring at 24.7 points per game and has his team sitting with a 9-11 record and fighting for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West. Beal and Singleton have combined to produce 17 points a night for the three-win Wizards, who have the worst record in the NBA.