The Wizards reportedly turned down a deal for guard James Harden. (Bill Baptist/Getty Images)
The Washington Wizards refused a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder for guard James Harden over the summer because the Wizards owner was not willing to commit to giving Harden a maximum contract, reports the Washington Post.
The paper says that Wizards owner Ted Leonsis was unwilling to commit to a five-year deal worth $80 million for Harden. The proposed deal would have sent rookie guard Bradley Beal and forward Chris Singleton to the Thunder for Harden. Harden, last season's Sixth Man of the Year award winner, was eventually traded to the Houston Rockets in October and signed a five-year, $80 million deal with the team. Harden, 23, is fifth in the NBA in scoring average with 24.7 points per game.
Leonsis, Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld and Thunder General Manager Sam Presti all declined comment when asked about the proposed trade. One Wizards official denied that Oklahoma City had offered Harden in exchange for Beal and Singleton, stating that the Thunder was also seeking an established player — which the Wizards didn’t have — in return. “That’s not true,” the official said about the proposed deal.
The Wizards have the league's worst record at 2-15 entering Tuesday's game against the New Orleans Hornets.