December 2, 2023

James Harden will continue his career with the Philadelphia 76ers. On Wednesday, the veteran goalkeeper chose to rescind the player’s $47.3 million option for the 2022-23 season, but is expected to sign a new contract with the Sixers once the free agency kicks in, according to Shams Al Shaaraniya Athlete. By opting out of his player option, Harden is giving the Sixers more financial flexibility to help improve the rest of the roster this summer around hiim and MVP runner-up Joel Embiid.

After the Sixers were eliminated by the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference semi-finals last month, Harden said he would take a short-term pay cut in order to help the team build a legitimate competitor, and he appears to have lived. for his word.

“I will be here. [I’ll do] Harden said at the time that whatever it took to help this team continue to grow, he put us there to the best of their ability. “We are trying to win the championship. That is the goal. Whatever it takes.”

The Sixers traded Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond and a pair of shots to the Brooklyn Nets in February for a landing at Harden, and the team’s plan throughout was to keep the former MVP in Sixers uniform for the foreseeable future. “This is the plan to get him back. This has been the plan since the trade,” Sixers’ head of basketball operations Daryl Morey said From Harden after the end of the Philadelphia season.

“Obviously, we have to work with his representative and it will be between us to see how that works,” Morey added. “…He is an incredibly talented player like Joel [Embiid]Just like Tobias [Harris]And I’m excited for Doc [Rivers] and his staff to be completely off-season, work with the players, and come up with the best plan for the roster.”

In 21 regular season games with the Sixers last season, Harden averaged 21.0 points, 10.5 assists, 7.1 rebounds, and 1.2 steals per performance. His production dropped a bit in the 12 games after the season with Philadelphia, and at times he seemed to miss a step compared to his early playing days. However, the hope is that Harden will be back in shape after a healthy break.

“I’ve been trying to get through the trajectory of the basketball season for two years in a row,” Harden said last month. “It’s like, ‘That’s not all. Do you know what I mean?’ All this past summer I’ve been rehab. It was a little frustrating because I wasn’t used to going through something like this, but it is what it is. I’m just glad to be healthy now I have a whole summer to be straight and do the things that are necessary to come back better next year.”

Details of Harden’s next contract with the Sixers still need to be worked out, but he certainly appears to be committed to the franchise given the fact that he turned down his option in order to help the team financially. Now, the Philadelphia front office has to find a way to build a better — and deeper — roster around the duo Harden and Embiid, because the roster they had last season wasn’t good enough.

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