James Harden declines option, intends to return to 76ers with focus on becoming contenders

AP Photo/Stacy Bengs

James Harden has just strongly helped out the 76ers.

Harden has declined his $47.4 million player option for 2022-23 with the intention of returning to Philadephia on a shorter-term deal, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

Charania adds Harden’s largest focus is to win a championship with the 76ers next season, stating that Harden returned to his workout regimen much sooner than usual this offseason.

With this, the Sixers now expect to have the non-tax mid-level, the bi-annual exception, and some wiggle room for signs and trades. And no strict cap trades are expected to be made — the Sixers will continue to hunt for players they like.

Harden, who was acquired in a trade-deadline deal with the Brooklyn Nets back in February, had yet another underwhelming playoff performance. In 12 postseason games with the Sixers, he averaged 18.6 points with 8.6 assists, 5.7 rebounds, and 4.2 turnovers over 39.9 minutes.

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