Guard James Harden, acquired by the Houston Rockets from the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday, told the Houston media that he will sign a long-term extension with the Rockets.
Yes, I do," Harden said. "I'll let them figure that out right now, my agent. My focus is with Houston to try and figure out how to make them better."
Harden, who is heading into the final year of his contract, has to sign an extension by Wednesday or he becomes a restricted free agent after the season.
He's thrilled to have this decision off of his radar.
"Just to be secure," Harden said. "I feel like I'm in a great position with a great team, great young guys. It'll work itself out."
The Rockets landed Harden in that blockbuster deal that had Houston sending guards Kevin Martin and Jeremy Lamb to the Thunder plus two future first-round picks and one future second-round pick.
The Rockets get back three additional players including center Cole Aldrich and forwards Daequan Cook and Lazar Hayward.
Harden, who won the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year award last season, said he is ready to be one of the faces of the Rockets franchise.
"Yes I am," Harden said. "It's going to take some time, obviously not starting and not having as much attention on me, but I think I'm ready for it."
Rockets coach Kevin McHale is certainly ready to have a weapon like Harden at his disposal.
"It helps a lot," McHale said. "I'm a big fan of his. I loved him coming out of Arizona State.
"I like the way he plays. I just think he's got a pace to his game that I like. He's not playing at warp speed. When I was working for TNT we used to always laugh, Chris Webber and I said he plays an old man game.
"He really takes his time. Goes when he wants to go. Stops, Starts, Stops, he's really a sophisticated player."
McHale said players like Harden, who went to the conference finals with the Thunder, and Omer Asik, who went to the conference finals with the Chicago Bulls, can bring that winning culture with them to the Rockets.
And winning big is what Rockets management hopes will eventually come to their franchise after making huge moves like bringing Harden to Houston.