Originally posted on Philly Sports Live  |  Last updated 9/13/12

James Harden of the Oklahoma City Thunder is the only player of the team’s young core that has not received a max contract.

Superstars, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook have undoubtedly received theirs, as well as Serge Ibaka, so why hasn’t Harden, the 2011-2012 NBA Sixth Man of the Year, received his contract extension yet?

When the Thunder decided to give a max contract extension this off-season to Ibaka, it opened the door for other teams to possibly sway Harden away from the 2011-2012 Western Conference champs.

Harden will become a restricted free agent if his agents and the Thunder organization cannot come to an agreement on a contract extension by the end of October.

The sharp-shooting lefty reportedly wants to stay with his close friends and teammates in Oklahoma City, but at the age of 23, would he really turn down a max offer sheet from say, the Dallas Mavericks, the Houston Rockets, or any other team with the cap space to do so?

It would be hard to believe that he will, but we will have to wait and see how things play out as the 2012-2013 NBA season approaches.

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