Originally posted on Crossover Chronicles  |  Last updated 10/27/12

The deadline to reach contract extensions for the 2009 draft class is now less than a week away. Teams have until the end of the month to either reach a new contract with their players or allow them to become restricted free agents next summer. One of the biggest names involved in these disputes is Oklahoma City Thunder guard James Harden. Harden is an interesting case because the Thunder have made it very clear that they want to keep him around, but offering him a max deal would put them over the salary cap, something OKC is trying to avoid. The Thunder may have found a loophole though. They could give Harden an incentivized contract that would reward him for his play, getting him near the same amount of money as a max deal without being penalized by the salary cap. They just have to make sure Harden’s incentives are challenging enough. The NBA counts ‘easy to achieve’ incentives against the cap, however, incentives that are deemed hard to achieve, like making the Conference Finals or being named an All-Star do not count against the cap. This could be the loophole that gets Harden signed, simply because of how good the Thunder have been in the West. Getting a deal done for Harden would be huge for the Thunder who are looking to avoid the drama of having one of their superstars unsigned all season. OKC is surely hoping to be fully focused in their quest to return to the NBA Finals, and having Harden’s future with the team up in the air could be a big distraction. If Harden is able to reach a deal with the Thunder in the next week, it will still have to be approved by the league. It will be interesting to see what type of incentives the team can get away with to make sure he gets the most amount of money possible. Image: SI.com [follow]

This article first appeared on Crossover Chronicles and was syndicated with permission.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jose Altuve: ‘I literally love Justin Verlander’

Marshawn Lynch suspended one game for contact with official

Chris Paul could miss a month with knee injury

WATCH: LeBron rejects Giannis at the rim with big block

15 key questions for NFL Week 7

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Vin Scully will not make appearance during World Series

Leonard Fournette still not practicing ahead of Week 7

Dusty Baker calls Nationals dismissal ‘hard to understand’

Draymond Green feels ‘big relief’ that knee injury was minor

Bradford ruled out of Week 7, expected to play again in 2017

NFL on Ezekiel Elliott: ‘We’re not looking to make a deal’

Sports & Politics Intersect: Cubs owner up for Heritage Foundation post

The 'Like Mike, only better' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Dodgers finish Cubs while Astros find pain in the Bronx

The 'Some call me the Rocket, some people call me Maurice' quiz

Kyrie Irving must lead Celtics through a disaster in search for happiness

Jacoby Brissett: The forgotten up-and-comer

NFL Week 7 Predictions

The 'Can I have a quick sword with you?' quiz

College football 2017 Week 8 predictions

NFL Referee Hotline Bling: Austin Seferian-Jenkins drops a call

Blackhawks get extra depth on defense with newbies Rutta and Forsling

The 'Old faces in new places' quiz

Thunder News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Sports & Politics Intersect: Cubs owner up for Heritage Foundation post

The 'Like Mike, only better' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Dodgers finish Cubs while Astros find pain in the Bronx

The 'Some call me the Rocket, some people call me Maurice' quiz

Kyrie Irving must lead Celtics through a disaster in search for happiness

Jacoby Brissett: The forgotten up-and-comer

NFL Week 7 Predictions

College football 2017 Week 8 predictions

The 'Can I have a quick sword with you?' quiz

NFL Referee Hotline Bling: Austin Seferian-Jenkins drops a call

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker