East Rumors: Sixers, James Harden, Wizards, Cavs


The Sixers do not want to give guard James Harden a maximum contract in free agency, per Brian Windhorst of ESPN.

Harden is expected to opt out of his deal this summer and become an unrestricted free agent. He has been linked to the Sixers and Rockets, and will be eligible for a four-year, $210 million contract from Philadelphia.

“The 76ers have not shown an appetite to pay Harden the max; that’s why they asked him to take a pay cut last year,” Windhorst said, via RealGM. “The Sixers are not really motivated to pay him that max salary if they don’t think anybody else is going to do it.”

Harden is eligible to receive a deal for four years and nearly $202 million from another team.


Wizards owner Ted Leonsis is not opposed to a rebuild under new head of basketball operations Michael Winger, per Josh Robbins of The Athletic.

It is yet to be determined if that’s the path Winger will travel, though he does have “carte blanche” to reshape the team as he sees fit, Robbins noted.

  • The Wizards were looking to hire someone  “who’d take big swings, in a big market,” a source told David Aldridge of The Athletic. That is what led to the decision to hire Winger away from his post as Clippers GM.
  • Thunder vice president of basketball operations Will Dawkins is considered a strong candidate to fill the No. 2 executive job under Winger, per Marc Stein of The Stein Line.
  • I wrote a column of the big decisions that await Winger with the Wizards. And man, there are many. You can read the full column here.


None of the Cavs’ four key pieces are expected to be moved this offseason, per Rory Maher of Hoops Rumors. Those four: center Jarrett Allen, forward Evan Mobley and guards Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland.

That said, it’s fair to wonder about the long-term future of Allen and Mobley together offensively, Maher wrote. But the Cavs’ most glaring need is at small forward, Maher added.

  • Two of the biggest question marks are wing Cedi Osman and forward Lamar Stevens. I wrote a column about each, wondering if they will be back. You can check out the Osman column right here and the Stevens one right here.
  • Since writing each column, I’ve heard that the Cavs intend to bring both players back, if for no other reason than their team-friendly contracts. If the Cavs can’t shore up the small forward spot, expect them to look at some cheap options to add to the backcourt or bigs. Perhaps Timberwolves center Naz Reid, an unrestricted free agent, would be a fit.

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