Whereas it was broadly assumed that James Harden would decide up his $47.4 million possibility with the 76ers for the 2022-23 season by Wednesday afternoon’s deadline, that did not occur.
An NBA supply confirmed Harden declined the choice and is outwardly selecting to take much less cash this season to provide the Sixers a greater probability to signal any individual like Warmth free agent energy ahead P.J. Tucker, who star middle Joel Embiid covets, with out having to dump a number of present gamers and deplete the group’s already-thin bench as soon as free company begins Thursday evening.
“In Harden’s thoughts opting out of that deal after which negotiating a brand new contract offers the Sixers much more monetary flexibility to go and enhance this group,” stated ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Wednesday morning. “He advised them he needs to win and is dedicated to successful.”
Tucker might signal with the Sixers for as much as $32 million over three years by way of the non-taxpayer mid-level exception if there’s sufficient room, which might imply the group has to stay under the luxury-tax apron of about $157 million in 2022-23.
The Sixers might’ve prolonged Harden’s contract as much as 4 extra years and $223 million in August if he had picked up the choice. Harden is anticipated to signal a multi-year deal price maybe $40 million per season (three years, $120 million?) to stay with the Sixers throughout free company. A contract beginning at $37 million, together with $10 million non-taxpayer MLE to Tucker and utilizing the $4.1 million bi-annual exception, would put the Sixers about $1 million under the $157 million with 15 gamers.
“It is a mutual lovefest, so we really feel like we’ll work it out,” stated Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey after final Thursday’s draft.
The veteran guard, acquired in a February trade-deadline take care of the Nets wherein Ben Simmons went to Brooklyn, averaged 21 factors, 10.5 assists and seven.1 rebounds in 21 regular-season video games as a Sixer.
Chosen to the final 10 all-star video games, Harden contributed 18.6 factors, 8.6 assists and 5.7 rebounds in 12 playoff contests — six every in opposition to the Raptors and Warmth — although he did not search for his shot as a lot because the Sixers wanted him to, particularly in fourth quarters vs. Miami and struggled to attain inside.
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Morey acquired Harden when he was normal supervisor of the Rockets in 2012 and once more in February. Harden’s particular person spotlight was incomes league MVP honors in 2017-18, which was the primary of his three consecutive seasons scoring above 30 factors per sport.
Harden and Tucker have been teammates for three-plus seasons in Houston.
Tom Moore: [email protected]; @TomMoorePhilly