The Sixers came into the playoffs as one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference, with hopes that trading with the Brooklyn Nets for star guard James Harden could push them over the hump in the postseason. That didn’t exactly come to fruition, but it appears that the team will try and run it back with a similar core roster next season.
Harden recently declined his player option with the Sixers, which would have seen him receive $47.3 million next season. Instead, he’s opting for a short-term contract, which should provide the team cap flexibility to shore up the rest of the roster.
It appears that Philadelphia could come to terms with Harden (seen above in this year’s playoffs against Toronto) on his new contract sooner rather than later. According to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on SportsCenter Tuesday, the Sixers and Harden are in talks on that. And there’s a chance a deal could even be done within the next 24 hours.
"You can expect Harden and his representatives, and Daryl Morey in Philly, to really sit down and hammer that deal out here, perhaps as soon as the next 24 hours." – @wojespn on SportsCenter. pic.twitter.com/OsOS1z8VR1
— The Comeback (@thecomeback) July 5, 2022
Harden has done just about everything in his career except for winning an NBA championship, which appears to be on his mind this offseason.
Giving more cap flexibility to the Sixers by opting out of his contract seems to be further proof of that.
While the Sixers have been a staple in the Eastern Conference playoffs as of late, they have had trouble getting into a deep playoff run, failing to make it out of the second round of the playoffs every year in Joel Embiid’s career in Philadelphia.
A deep bench along with the core of Embiid and Harden may be exactly what the team needs to finally push them over the hump and make them true contenders in the Eastern Conference.
[The Comeback on Twitter; photo from Bill Streicher/USA Today Sports]