James Harden rejects record deal, wants to join Brooklyn Nets: Report

Coach Mike D'Antoni and general manager Daryl Morey departed the Houston Rockets after last season. Star guard James Harden might be the next to head for the exit.

Harden declined Houston's offer of a contract that would pay him an NBA-record US$50 million (S$67.1m) per season. Instead, he is looking to engineer a trade that would send him to the Brooklyn Nets, reported ESPN.

The 31-year-old turned down an extension for two years and US$103 million, beyond the existing three years and US$133 million on his contract.

Harden, the NBA's leading scorer for the past three seasons, is reportedly in contact with Nets forward Kevin Durant and guard Kyrie Irving in hopes of forming a Big Three in Brooklyn.

However, there has been no "meaningful dialogue" between the Nets and the Rockets about a Harden deal, added ESPN.

D'Antoni parted ways with the Rockets in September, after the team lost to the eventual champions the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference semi-finals.

The New York Times reported that Harden had wanted Tyronn Lue or John Lucas as D'Antoni's replacement, but the Rockets went for Stephen Silas.

An eight-time All-Star, Harden has reached the NBA Finals once, while playing alongside Durant with the 2011/12 Oklahoma City Thunder.  - REUTERS