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Ex-NBA Executive Questions Whether Brooklyn Nets Should Offer James Harden A Max Contract: "Do You Really Want To Max Out James Harden For Five Years Right Now? He Turns 33 Next Summer And Already Looks To Have Lost A Step."

Ex NBA Executive Questions Whether Brooklyn Nets Should Offer James Harden A Max Contract: "Do You Really Want To Max Out James Harden For Five Years Right Now? He Turns 33 Next Summer And Already Looks To Have Lost A Step."

James Harden has struggled to start this season. Harden has become the primary focus of the league as the NBA's recent rule change when it comes to fouls seemingly affected him the most. And his offensive repertoire has been compromised.

Harden declined a contract extension with the Nets, in order to leverage more money next year. This leaves the Nets in an awkward position, as they have only locked down Kevin Durant, and will need at least one of the two stars in order to keep their championship window open.

But one former NBA executive has questioned whether signing James Harden to a max deal next summer makes sense. In an article on The Athletic, ex-Grizzlies executive John Hollinger wondered whether giving Harden, who turns 33 next season, a max extension is a good idea given the drastic change in his form this season.

"Do you really want to max out Harden for five years right now? He turns 33 next summer and already looks to have lost a step. On the one hand, if Brooklyn isn’t interested in doing a five-year deal next summer, it leaves its flank open for Harden to seek greener pastures; but on the other, every other team is looking at the same risk factors, only they don’t have the sunk cost of all the draft picks Brooklyn gave up to acquire him."

Harden has slowly improved from the early-season slump. And while he still isn't putting up the numbers we're used to seeing from him, he's improving as the season goes forward. The Nets have looked weaker than we expected, but that is down to Kyrie Irving refusing to take the vaccine, thus not being allowed to play.

Harden himself has said that he and the Nets are going in the right direction. For the season, he is averaging 20 points, 8 rebounds, and 9 assists. And his free throw attempts have slowly reason as time has gone on. Maybe Harden will find his stellar form in the coming months, but at the moment, giving him the max might be risky.