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James Harden just ditched the team that hammered home securing his trade with the Brooklyn Nets ahead of massive contract talks

By on August 23, 2021 0

James Harden and the Brooklyn Nets are in contract extension talks, but The Beard has just made a huge personal decision that could have major implications in those talks.

Like Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, Harden is eligible for maximum overtime with the Nets this offseason. Durant has already signed on the dotted line, but it remains to be seen whether Harden and Irving will also ink extensions and cement the trio’s future in Brooklyn.

James Harden’s agents played a big part in orchestrating his trade with the Nets

James Harden was adamant about leaving Houston last season. He eventually made it to the Rockets’ camp but never wavered in his determination to be traded elsewhere.

Harden’s agents played a huge role in the biggest blockbuster of the season.

The Beard hired Jason Ranne and Chafie Fields from Wasserman to work with the Rockets to find different business avenues. According to ESPN, Ranne and Fields played absolutely vital roles in working with the Rockets and each of the other teams involved in the four-team trade that saw Harden land with the Nets.

Harden seemed genuinely happy in Brooklyn. He went out of his way to be more of a vocal leader. Excellence was also on the floor, as Harden carried the Nets for several stretches without Durant, Irving, or both.

The season ultimately ended in disappointment for Harden and the Nets. The Beard tried to overcome a hamstring injury in the team’s conference semi-final loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, but he was just a shell of himself.

Still, the Nets had shown enough quality when all of Harden, Durant and Irving were healthy to open as the first NBA title favorites for the 2021-22 season. The three superstars also seemed to have good synergy on the pitch, which is an inherent advantage for Harden as he pursues his first NBA Championship.

Harden owes a lot to Ranne and Fields for helping him find a more ideal situation. Only, The Beard is going in another direction.

Harden chooses a new representation

Another party will negotiate James Harden’s contract if he does indeed sign an extension with the Nets.

ESPN’s Jordan Schultz reported that Harden severed ties with Ranne and Fields in favor of his longtime friend Lorenzo McCloud. Interestingly, the NBPA will also help represent Harden.

Maybe that was a move Harden had thought about, anyway. But the timing is curious. Perhaps Harden was not happy with Ranne and Fields with the way they approached negotiating his extension.

Brooklyn already faces challenges regarding future cap space and filling the roster, which are particularly looming if the Nets also sign Harden and Irving for maximum extensions. Simultaneously, Harden could hope to cash in in the form of a three-year, $ 161 million extension that has a much higher average annual value than his current contract.

In any case, The Beard is under a new representation. Ranne and Fields may have been instrumental in concluding one of the most dramatic business sagas in NBA history, but they will no longer play a role in James Harden’s contract talks.

Nets believe all expansions will be done

Will Harden’s change in representation have implications for contract extension talks? | Edward Berthelot / Getty Images

Nets general manager Sean Marks isn’t intimidated by trying to ink all three stars on extensions.

Marks was quick to expand Durant and secure the centerpiece of the franchise. He also said earlier this month that he was “confident” that Harden and Irving would sign extra time before training camp started, via Malika Andrews of ESPN.

What these extensions look like remains to be seen. Will the Nets try to barter with Harden and Irving behind the scenes, or does Harden’s change in portrayal suggest he plans to get the maximum?

Either way, Harden seems to think partnering with McCloud is the best business decision for him, despite Ranne and Fields working tirelessly to put him in that position in the first place.

RELATED: Are Kevin Durant, James Harden, Kyrie Irving, and the Brooklyn Nets Even More Terrifying Than Last Season?



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