James Harden’s future with the Philadelphia 76ers is the most pressing issue the franchise is facing this offseason. Harden, 32, has a $47 million player option for next season that he could pick up, and he’s also eligible for a monster max extension — either four of five years, depending on what he decides to do with his option. So, there are several ways that Harden’s future in Philadelphia could play out financially, but it seems like the two sides are going to meet in the middle, as Harden is expected to pick up his player option and then sign a shorter-term deal with the Sixers, according to Bleacher Report. 

Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden, center, goes up for a shot against Miami Heat forward P.J. Tucker (17) and guards Max Strus (31) and Tyler Herro, right, during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series, Tuesday, May 10, 2022, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

The Sixers traded Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond and a pair of picks to acquire Harden from the Brooklyn Nets in February. He appeared in 21 games for the team during the regular season and played in all 12 of their playoff games. 


“That’s the plan is to have him back. That’s been the plan since the trade,” Morey said of Harden. “Obviously, we have to work with his representation and that’ll be between us to figure out how that works. … He’s an incredibly talented player just like Joel [Embiid], just like Tobias [Harris], and I’m excited for Doc [Rivers] and his staff to have a whole offseason, work with the players, and come up with the best plan for the roster.”   

Following the season, when asked if he would potentially take a pay cut in order to help the team build out the rest of the roster, Harden had this to say: “Whatever it takes to help this team continue to grow, and put us up there with the best of them. … We’re trying to win a championship. That’s the goal. Whatever that looks like.”   

Signing Harden to a shorter-team deal makes sense for the Sixers as he still clearly has some gas left in the proverbial tank, and such a move protects them down the road in case his play deteriorates to an extreme level in the coming season(s). Once Harden’s deal is done and ironed out, the Sixers can continue to build out the roster around him and MVP runner-up Embiid. 

Courtesy: CBS Sports


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