NBA Twitter Reacts to James Harden Turning Down Houston Rockets' $50 Million a Year Extension Offer

James Harden has reportedly made it clear to the Houston Rockets that he wants to be traded to the Brooklyn Nets, declining to become the first player in NBA history to earn $50 million a year.

On Monday, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Rockets had tabled an offer for Harden to sign the maximum allowable extension, which would pay the 2018 regular season MVP $103 million over two years, on top of the $133 million Harden is still scheduled to make over the remaining three years of his current deal.

The eight-time All Star is due to make $40.8 million and $43.8 million over the next two seasons, with a player option for the 2022-23 season at $46.9 million.

Harden, however, has nixed the Rockets offer and reportedly reiterated he intends to be traded to the Brooklyn Nets to play alongside Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

It didn't take long for news of Harden's alleged refusal to sign an extension with the Rockets to send shockwaves through the NBA world, with plenty of his colleagues taking to Twitter to express their feelings.

New Orleans Pelicans guard Josh Hart and Portland Trail Blazers star C.J. McCollum were both left shocked by Harden turning down a two-year deal worth an average of $51.5 million a year.

"Turned down 50?! Good lord," tweeted Hart, while McCollum suggested Harden declining the Rockets offer amounted to a "get me out of here" plea.

Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie also expressed his surprise, while his teammate Caris LeVert posted a cryptic Instagram post containing only a yawning emoji and a hourglass emoji, which some took as indication he was tired of waiting.

While Harden wants out of Houston, leaving the franchise may not be straightforward. According to ESPN, the Rockets want "a massive return of assets" for the 31-year-old and are seemingly relaxed about the prospect of waiting for the right offer.

Significantly, while the Rockets and the Nets have reportedly been in touch, they have not formally opened discussion on a possible trade and ESPN suggested there had been no indication the Rockets believe the Nets could put together a trade package tempting enough.

The Athletic's Shams Charania echoed the sentiment, suggesting Houston was "fully comfortable" to keep both Harden and Russell Westbrook going into next season. The Rockets only traded for Westbrook last season, but the former regular season MVP has grown disillusioned with the franchise and last week reportedly made it clear to the Rockets front office he wanted to be traded.

Significantly, The Athletic also reported Harden considered the Philadelphia 76ers one of his top trade destinations along with the Nets.

Meanwhile, Marc Stein of The New York Times also indicated the Rockets hadn't yet given up on Harden and were determined to retain his services and trying to mend the relationship with their star.

James Harden, Houston Rockets
James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets during the third quarter of Game Four of the Western Conference Second Round against the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena at the ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on September 10 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Harden is reportedly set to leave the Rockets in this offseason. Michael Reaves/Getty

In Brooklyn, Harden would be reunited with Durant, his former teammate in Oklahoma City between 2009 and 2012 when the former left the Thunder for Houston.

In eight seasons with the Rockets, Harden has developed into one of the biggest stars in the NBA, leading the league in scoring for the last three seasons and in assists in 2017.

Harden has been an All-Star selection in each of his eight seasons in Houston, but individual accolades have not translated into an NBA title.

The Rockets have made the playoffs each year since trading for Harden, losing twice in the Western Conference Finals and three times in the Conference Semifinals, with the most recent defeat at that stage coming against the Los Angeles Lakers in September.