Free agent James Harden has agreed on a two-year, $68.6M deal, including a player option, to return to the 76ers, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 20, 2022
Harden is set to make $33 million for the 2022-23 season and could exercise his player option, which could net him another $35.6 million for the 2023-24 season. He could also opt out of his deal after one year and become a free agent again.
The former NBA MVP originally said he wasn’t going to take a pay cut, but he changed his mind to attract other players to Philly. That money was ultimately used to attract role players P.J. Tucker and Danuel House.
Many on Twitter had some amazing reactions to Harden re-signing with the Sixers.
Daryl Morey would never let James Harden leave 😭 pic.twitter.com/Xgt09hTirO
— Whistle (@WhistleSports) July 20, 2022
james harden realizing he can make people forget about another lackluster playoff run by spending the entire summer talking about how he took a pay cut to win: pic.twitter.com/WKLGHSApVx
— alex (@steven_lebron) July 20, 2022
James Harden is a free agent next season
— Ry (@JustRyCole) July 20, 2022
Prove it deal for James Harden while giving the Sixers the flexibility to make the moves the have made
— Sean Barnard (@Sean_Barnard1) July 20, 2022
James Harden is going to come back as a superstar again, win a championship in philly, refuse that player option, sign with the Rockets and be our “CP3”
He’ll PG next to Jalen and get us to the playoffs that year, as he ages he’ll slide to a 6man role for the rest of his career https://t.co/VVPxJf9Lci
— Paulo Alves (@PauloAlvesNBA) July 20, 2022
Harden — who turns 33 in August — averaged 22 points and 10.3 assists across 65 games with the Nets and 76ers this past season after he wanted out of Brooklyn. He was dealt to Philly as part of a blockbuster trade that sent Ben Simmons to the Nets.
Despite a lot of fanfare surrounding Harden’s arrival to Philly, the Sixers fell short in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. losing to the Miami Heat in six games — marking the fourth time in five years they have failed to make the Conference Finals.