James Harden’s new contract has finally been made official.
The 32-year-old guard put pen to paper on his two-year, $68.6 million deal Wednesday, shutting down the Sixers’ plans to push it back with the big three of Harden, Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey.
“This is where I want to be. This is where I want to win and I think we have the pieces to do that.” Harden said in a press release. “From my first day with the 76ers organization, the team and fans have helped me feel at home in Philadelphia. I’m excited after last season and can’t wait to get on the court with the guys and start this journey.”
The Sixers’ key return in the Ben Simmons trade with Brooklyn last season, Harden averaged 21.0 points and 10.5 assists in 21 regular-season games.
Off the bat, the Sixers’ offense looked dominant, but that success waned as the playoffs wore on and eventually ended with Miami going out in the second round with Harden struggling.
Harden had a player option for 2022-23 at $47 million, but opted out and took this new deal at a lower annual value (about $33 million) to allow the Sixers to bolster their depth, which they continued to add. PJ Tucker and De’Anthony Melton.
After another disappointing postseason for both sides, Harden and the Sixers are going to put their title hopes together at least one more time with a slightly retooled roster and go from there.
As for what that might look like, our own Kyle Neubeck broke down what Harden’s expectations should be this season. HERE.
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