Report: James Harden intends to decline $35.6 million player option to become an unrestricted free agent this summer
According to Chris Haynes at Bleacher Report, James Harden intends to decline his $35.6 million player option to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Harden is hoping to that by declining his player option, he will be able to hit free agency and secure a long-term deal.
Chris Haynes, Bleacher Report – James Harden to decline player option
Philadelphia 76ers star James Harden intends to decline his $35.6 million player option to become an unrestricted free agent this summer in order to secure a long-term deal, league sources tell Bleacher Report.
Harden, 33, took a sizable pay cut last offseason to help the Sixers build the roster out. The guard will now be seeking a four-year contract.
The Houston Rockets have long been a rumored destination, but sources say Harden will only entertain suitors that present a competitive roster and the basketball freedom for the star to be himself, sources say.
That still doesn’t rule out the Philadelphia 76ers bringing him back for the 2023-24 season.
Okay so obviously, the player option is completely out of the Sixers’ control and really, it was expected that Harden would decline that and look for a new, long-term contract instead of simply securing the bag for one more season.
Daryl Morey spoke to the media today stating that he does want James Harden to return to Philadelphia next season. Now, it looks like that will have to come by signing a long-term contract which I’m not really sure is the right move for the Sixers.
Look I get it, losing Harden, while he does come up short in big games in the playoffs and has been inconsistent at best, would leave a huge hole in the Philadelphia 76ers lineup.
Worth noting as well, the Sixers are basically in salary cap hell and it’s not like they can let Harden walk and bring in another high-salary player to take his place.
I’m still in the camp that wants to see James Harden walk. I can’t go through another season of watching him play basketball only to come up short when the team needs him most in the playoffs. That didn’t work this year and there’s really no reason to believe a career of coming up short in the playoffs will change next year for Harden.
Maybe he takes Dwight Howard’s advice and goes to Taiwan? Who knows, but ideally, he won’t be in Philadelphia much longer.