Initially there were reports that the Washington Wizards could have landed James Harden in a trade for OKC, the cost in players would have been Brade Beal and Chris Singleton.
No big deal. But then you have to factor in Harden’s demand for an $80 mil max deal. Which is fully deserved.
Well, the rumors started floating that ownership didn’t want to pony up that kind of cash. This is a bad look for the team, any team really. Surely fans wouldn’t be too happy to hear these types of stories. So owner Ted Leonsis decided to make a statement on the rumors that surrounded the Wizards passing up on Harden:
“I usually do not comment on articles that are premised on statements from anonymous sources, let alone an unauthorized anonymous source. Once you respond to a story like that you are open to having to respond to those kinds of stories all of the time. In this case, however, I need to make an exception.
I would like to debunk though a statement and notion that originated in The Washington Post that a potential trade would have put our team in the luxury tax and thus we “turned down” a deal because we were “unwilling to commit” financially. That is simply not true. First, we would not have gone into the luxury tax – that is simple math. Second, economics were not a factor.” – Ted Leonsis (Wizards’ Owner)