Harden, Rockets agree to 5-year, $80M deal


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Updated: 10/31/2012 6:24 pm Published: 10/31/2012 6:22 pm


HOUSTON (AP) - James Harden has agreed to a five-year, $80 million contract with the Houston Rockets.

The Rockets acquired the reigning Sixth Man of the Year in a stunning trade with Oklahoma City on Saturday night. Harden is expected to start when Houston opens the regular season in Detroit on Wednesday night.

Houston also picked up the options for forwards Marcus Morris and Patrick Patterson for the 2013-14 season.

Rockets general manager Daryl Morey called Harden a "foundational player" at his introductory press conference this week. He'll become the featured player in Houston after three seasons in a supporting role behind Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City.

Harden averaged 16.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists for the Thunder last season. He started only seven games in three seasons with Oklahoma City but became an indispensable reserve.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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