James Harden promised to return to Philadelphia the following season after the 76ers’ Eastern Conference semifinal loss to the Heat. It turns out that he will pay for it.
The 32-year-old former NBA MVP is allegedly accepting a $AUD21 million salary reduction for the 2022–23 season as part of a two-year deal with the 76ers, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium. The two sides agreed to a deal that includes a player option for the following season after Harden turned down his $68 million player option on Thursday. Harden’s decision was seen as an attempt to give Philadelphia more salary-cap room and roster flexibility so they could improve the players around him and NBA scoring champion Joel Embiid.
James Harden Will Have A Pay Cut
This week, it paid off. Philadelphia was able to sign free agency P.J. Tucker and re-sign Daniel House Jr. because of Harden’s pay reduction. Tucker, who relocated from Miami, reportedly signed a three-year, $48 million contract that was completely guaranteed. The trades also give the 76ers a familiar appearance because James Harden, Tucker, and House were teammates in Houston from 2017 to 20; at the same time, current 76ers chairman Daryl Morey was the Rockets’ general manager. Last season, Harden was traded to Philadelphia by the Nets in a big deal for Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, and Andre Drummond, as well as draught selections.
In 21 games with the 76ers, Harden averaged 21 points, 10.5 assists, and 7.1 rebounds. Still, there were questions about his age and dedication as well as a hesitation to be aggressive, especially in the playoffs.
James Harden only attempted two shots in the second half of the 76ers’ last game of the year against the Heat in Philadelphia.