James Harden Agrees To Two-Year Deal With 76ers

As expected, James Harden is returning to the 76ers on a two-year contract worth $68.6 million, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.James Harden

Harden declined his $47 million player option and instead will sign the two-year deal, which consists of a player option in the second year, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported back on July 8. In other words, Harden can become an unrestricted free agent at the end of 2022-23 if he so desires.

“The deal guarantees Harden $33 million for next season and the opportunity to decline his $35.6 million player option and negotiate another free agent deal next summer,” Wojnarowski wrote.

Charania added that Harden’s “close relationships with those around the organization, including Michael Rubin and Daryl Morey, played a major role in trust between the two sides.”

Harden was acquired from the Nets at the trade deadline as part of the Ben Simmons deal, then had a fairly uneven run with the 76ers. But Philadelphia is hopeful a full training camp will serve him and his teammates well.

“Philadelphia scored a whopping 120.3 points per 100 possessions when Harden was on the court during the regular season, per NBA.com,” noted Timothy Rapp of Bleacher Report. “When he sat, that offensive rating dropped to 107.7.”

Harden, 32, averaged 21.0 points, 10.5 assists and 7.1 rebounds in 21 regular-season games with Philadelphia.

“I’ll be here,” he told reporters after the Sixers were eliminated by the Heat in the Eastern Conference semifinals. “Whatever allows us to continue to grow and get better and do the things necessary to win and compete at a high level.”

Since the start of free agency, the 76ers have added P.J. Tucker and Danuel House Jr., and also acquired De’Anthony Melton in a draft night trade.

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