James Harden to opt-in to massive player option for 2022-23
James Harden is expected to exercise his $47.4 million player option for the 2022-23 season, per ESPN. According to the report, he will negotiate a potential multi-year extension with the Sixers in 2023.
In short, it’s a smart move from Harden. Over the past months, it’s been abundantly clear that he is in steep decline. While the Sixers seemed comfortable with the idea of paying Harden the max when the trade went through, it’s unlikely they’ll be willing two after these playoffs.
Harden has posted lackluster numbers this postseason, even in games without the talismanic Joel Embiid controlling the offense. In eight games so far, he’s averaged 18.8 points, 9.4 assists, and 5.4 rebounds, while shooting 40% from the field. Plus, his hamstring is far from full strength.
Not exactly the James Harden 76ers fans hoped for.
There have been rumblings that Harden will not seek a max deal after his player option is up in 2023, which could see the Sixers more motivated to retain his services. And, even though it isn’t my money and the organization doesn’t care about my thoughts on our cap situation, it makes it easier for me to swallow as well.
What happens next will all come down to what is possibly the most expensive one-year prove-it deal in the history of sports.
I have a feeling he walked out of Daryl Morey’s office like this when asked if he’d opt-in.
Mandatory Credit: Complex