Wizards’ Owner Says Money Did Not Factor In Turning Down Deal For James Harden

Last week reported about the Washington Wizards apparantley nixing a trade that would have allowed them to acquire James Harden from the Oklahoma City Thunder. 

Part of the reported holdup was the Wizards not wanting to part with Bradley Beal, and most importantly not wanting to pay the $80 million over 5 years Harden was set to receive.

Pro Basketball Talk via Wizards owner Ted Leonsis personal blog, is reporting that finances were not the case in a trade not being made.

Leonsis didn’t mention Harden by name, but he wanted to make the point that fianances don’t stop him from making deals.

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.