It's a shame. The market inflates people's expectations because of a few shitty contracts that GMs have to hand out because there's a minimum salary level and someone has to get paid. I don't know about you guys but in my mind eight million isn't that big a loss when you're already getting fifty-two. I'd trade his ass but quick; show him that when you're on a team that has a real shot at winning the 'chip you might *gasp* actually have to take one for the team to keep that chance. I'd like to see an OKC reporter ask Harden if he's as good a player as Durant or Westbrook and when he says no ask him why he thinks he deserves to get paid like them.
Sign him to the max extension (because someone else will anyways) and after this season ship his ass to Phoenix for Gortat and Scola. Thunder get better; Suns think they're getting better and Harden can spend his tenure outside looking in. Everybody wins (sort of).
Or y'know, a hard cap would be nice.
PS. I can't check on the Trade Machine 100% since Scola can't move until the end of the season but the Salaries look pretty close. The Suns would possibly have to throw someone else small in.