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Harden expected to sign new deal with Rockets

Published October 28, 2012 8:10 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

James Harden plans to sign a long-term extension with the Houston Rockets before the regular season begins.

The reigning Sixth Man of the Year joined his new team Sunday after he was traded to the Rockets from Oklahoma City late Saturday. The Thunder acquired guards Kevin Martin and Jeremy Lamb, two first-round picks and a second-round pick in the surprising deal. Oklahoma City also sent center Cole Aldrich and forwards Daequan Cook and Lazar Hayward to Houston.

"It happened so fast, it happened very fast," Harden said. "But this is the position I'm in now. Just have to make the best out of it. I'm with Houston now. I just have to come in here and play hard and win games."

Thunder general manager Sam Presti said Houston was able to offer Harden a contract that Oklahoma City could not.

"Quite honestly, the value of the trade was greater based on the fact that the Rockets could offer him the contract that he was seeking," Presti said.

Last year, Harden averaged 16.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists.

Heat-Celtics opener awkward for Allen

There's no shortage of potentially awkward events for Ray Allen to endure Tuesday night.

Most of his new Miami Heat teammates will get championship rings; he won't be among them. All that hubbub will occur as his past collides with his future — his former team, the Boston Celtics, will be the opponent awaiting the Heat when their pregame tribute to the 2012 NBA title ends.

Allen was with the Celtics last season when they took the Heat to seven games in a classic Eastern Conference final. Then came the summer, when Allen spurned Boston and signed with Miami, changing sides in the rivalry with just a few strokes of a pen.

"I've gotten over it now to the point where you just say, you can celebrate their success," Allen said. "More than anything, I'm just focused on once that's over with, we have a game to go out and win."