Report: James Harden expected to rejoin the Houston Rockets this summer, leaving the Sixers with a massive, but necessary hole to fill in their roster
Pretty wild news breaking this morning from Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. According to his sources, James Harden is expected to rejoin the Houston Rockets this summer in free agency.
James Harden Player Option with Sixers
Earlier this week, we learned that Harden intended to opt out of his player option with the Philadelphia 76ers but after Daryl Morey spoke with the media, it appeared that the primary focus was to get Harden back in Philadelphia on a long term contract.
Reports indicated that James Harden was looking for a 4-year contract extension, which was still in play after he made the decision to opt out with the Sixers.
Now, it appears that Harden will be heading back to Houston.
The Rockets hired Ime Udoka as their new head coach on April 25th and Houston is positioned to have around $60 million in salary cap space this offseason.
Harden, who again turned down a $35.6 million player option to become a free agent, will likely sign a long term deal with Houston that’s worth more than that.
Keith Pompey on James Harden from The Inky
Sources have said his interest in returning to Houston is mutual and not a ploy to get a lucrative deal out of the Sixers. His mother still lives in the city. He has several business ventures there. And, as one source said, “he’s treated like a god in Houston.”
Look, there’s no denying that Harden fell short in the playoffs this season outside of two “vintage” performances against he Boston Celtics in Round 2. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough for the Sixers and they squandered yet another opportunity to advance out of the second round of the playoffs.
That being said, this lineup will definitely miss Harden heading into next season. He led the NBA in assists per game and was a key part in controlling and managing the Sixers’ offense.
Harden leaving really doesn’t help the Sixers much salary cap-wise either.
Sixers Salary Cap Hell
- Joel Embiid: 4 yrs, $210M
- Tobias Harris: 1 yr, $39M
- PJ Tucker: 2 yrs, $22.5M
- De’Anthony Melton: 1 yr, $8M
- Tyrese Maxey: 1 yr, $4.3M
- James Harden: $35.6M – GONE
- Danuel House: $4.3M
- Montrezl Harrell: $2.7M
Unrestricted Free Agents
- Georges Niang
- Jalen McDaniels
- Shake Milton
Even with Harden leaving, the Sixers salary cap situation is still complete dog shit.
The Sixers also don’t have many draft picks to move
I honestly can’t believe we’re back in this situation yet again after another disappointing Sixers season. While the entire situation feels like we’re trapped in a neverending nightmare, James Harden was brought here to get us out of the second round of the playoffs and it just didn’t work. Now, we’ll have to retool (again) and give it another shot with a roster that will likely be very different from what we saw last season.
The Sixers shouldn’t panic, however. If they can get through next season and consider it a 1-year rebuild instead of spending even more money, the following season they will rid themselves of Tobias Harris’ contract and really bring in some talent to make a run at a championship. I know it’s not ideal, but it might be the best path forward after everything else has failed.
God help us.
Listen man, I’ve been seeing this dumbshit from my Sixers since they TRADED Moses Malone for Jeff Ruland back in ‘84!🤣😂