Sounds like your making up some stuff there. Presti never gave an "ultimatum", at least not from what I read at least. As far as I know, Harden wanted $60mil, OKCs initial offer was $52mil and it went up to $55mil and Harden still didn't budge. OKC had the option to let him walk in the summer or trade him mid-season or trade him now. There isn't any hostage taking if you think about it because Presti knows Harden won't sign and they are willing to let him go, they aren't losing their 2 best players so obviously they didn't feel it was enough of a threat. Different situation with Howard where he flipped-flopped and kept promising different things, they were willing to let him walk anyways so why not wait out for a better trade? So it is just about putting that out there that Harden is open for trade and he'd have teams lining up with offers, probably better ones that they would have gotten with Martin, maybe an offensive post threat?
It wasn't all Hardens choice, he either signs the extension or he doesn't. The team he is traded to doesn't guarantee him resigning, you think if he was traded to the Bobcats or Warriors that it is guaranteed he'd resign? My guess is he won't and he'd play the year out and then make his pick of teams next summer for max contract. That is guarranteed money but if your choice is the Bobcats or a plethora of other teams that will sign him for max contract a year later, I say that i worth the wait. Yes he knows his worth and what he could get but OKC didn't have to trade him and he didn't know he'd get traded right away either.
All I'm saying is it isn't as simple as Harden going for more money as most are saying and act like turning down more money to win a championship is completely out of the question. Fact is Harden was traded first and then offered that max extension but none was really guaranteed (none reported) whether the Rockets were going to offer him max or if Harden would even resign with them.
Back to the game at hand though, good game and maybe OKC should have traded Westbrook.
But damn Parker with back to back winning baskets in back to back games.