Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, James Harden has officially signed a two-year contract with the Philadelphia 76ers. The contract is for $68.6 Million including a player option for the 2023-24 NBA Season. Harden will be paid $33 Million for this year, and $35.6 Million next year. This pay cut will play a huge role in the Sixers’ moves going forward in the offseason.
James Harden has received an absurd amount of criticism from NBA fans throughout his career. One of these examples would be his time with the Brooklyn Nets. Many fans viewed Harden as “the problem” in Brooklyn. With certain events unfolding this offseason, this seems to be less and less true. Not only did Kevin Durant request a trade, but Harden just showed the ultimate sacrifice. His recent quote stating what he said to Daryl Morey was astonishing for Sixers fans. “I told Daryl to improve the roster, sign who we need to sign, and give me whatever is left over.” In a matter of weeks, Harden went from hated to praised because of his sacrifices.
The one thing that this contract could tell us is that Daryl Morey has planned out the moves that he’ll make over the offseason. It took weeks for this contract to become official, leading analysts to believe that Morey was in the works on something else. It is very possible that he has finalized his moves and we could receive more news in the coming days. No leaks have been reported yet, but things could change somewhat rapidly.
It appears that Harden, Joel Embiid, and P.J. Tucker are having a fun offseason together so far. The team’s chemistry should be at a high level this season which could be a very strong advantage. It is likely that the core players of the 76ers organization are on board with whatever moves Morey has thought up. The Sixers should be a legitimate title contender for the first time in a few years this season.