The Philadelphia 76ers looked like one of the best teams in the NBA on paper after trading for star guard James Harden, but they ultimately fell short in the second round of the NBA Playoffs, losing to the Miami Heat in six games.
Harden had an up and down postseason, averaging 18.6 points per game with 8.6 assists against the Heat.
The ten-time All-Star will be a free agent this offseason, and there have been questions on whether or not Harden will remain with the 76ers after only half of the season on the roster.
Reports that have emerged on Thursday suggest that Harden may be staying with the 76ers for at least the near future.
According to Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer, Harden is expected to re-sign with Philadelphia on a “shorter-term” deal at the start of NBA free agency.
James Harden is expected to re-sign with the Sixers on a shorter term deal at the start of free agency, per B/R’s @JakeLFischer pic.twitter.com/D609GjZCeY
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 16, 2022
It may be smart for the 76ers to keep his deal on a short-term basis to see if the chemistry works between himself and star center Joel Embiid moving forward.
This report on Harden has the NBA world talking, with many mixed emotions regarding the move. Some believe that Harden can still be a valuable asset on a contending team, and believe that bringing him back on a short-term basis is a good move by Philadelphia.
This is fair for both sides. Shorter term deal so he can get paid but the team isn’t selling its soul for an asset that looked very much diminishing last year. He has a chance to get back right this offseason and show it was an outlier season coming off injury https://t.co/P2AkARBg8h
— VICE (@itsJVille) June 16, 2022
This is great for Joel’s future with Philly. https://t.co/DMDplPy9E0
— Avant’e. (@_ATripToLondon) June 16, 2022
he’s trying to win now it’s over next season https://t.co/3PeGn7DtPG
— 🐐brook (@jankyantt) June 16, 2022
Nice… Now Retool the bench and we back to dreaming chips again! 🛌💭 https://t.co/SKtKIAJhzT
— Y’all gon get this podcast.. 🏁 (@LetMeSpinCoach) June 16, 2022
However, others are a bit concerned that Harden’s best days may be behind him, and that the 76ers may be better off without him.
No matter what the deal I dont like it https://t.co/c1n3V1Q0ZP
— leek (@sixers_leek) June 16, 2022
He’s fully washed. Philly said ain’t no way we giving you a max https://t.co/ymB5QsckAF
— Denis (@DKBrodie7) June 16, 2022
This would be the best case scenario for Philly. Five years, $260 million for James Harden would be insane. https://t.co/FX0UlK1q45
— Anthony Puccio (@APOOCH) June 16, 2022
Just call him James Hardone because that man doesn’t care anymore🤷🏽♂️ https://t.co/tvOKq6XZVO
— PlantBasedPapi (@ShortBlackGuy) June 16, 2022
With Harden and Embiid at the helm, the Sixers should remain one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference next season. That being said, losing in the first round of the playoffs with as much talent as they have can only be seen as the team underperforming.