James Harden will resign from the last year of his contract and become an unlimited free agent this summer, a source confirmed to PhillyVoice on Wednesday. Harden is expected to agree to a new contract with the Sixers when the free agency opens, paving the way for the Sixers to make an influential addition to the list.

Harden’s decision to give up the last year of his contract is interesting, reading և tea leaves a little here, the simplest explanation is the most probable. In his final press of the season, Harden missed the door on many opportunities this summer, offering a quote that is more relevant now than it was then.

“I will be here,” Harden said in May when asked if he would be in the final year of his deal. “Whatever makes this team, whatever allows this team to continue to develop, to get better, to do what it takes to win, to compete at the highest level.”

The next step unfolds on many fronts, the two most pressing of which are the following:

  1. What is Harden’s next contract?
  2. How do Sixers use direct flexibility in free agency?

Given that it was generally accepted that Harden would take the option, demand his $ 47 million, change, I will not make any assumptions about what the next deal will be until I give the exact numbers. Unless otherwise stated, the numbers I will use below are highly hypothetical to help explain how they affect the Sixers.

As explained in our history since Wednesday morning, If Harden signed a three-year contract worth $ 40 million a year, it would lower his 2022-23 threshold by $ 7,366,760, compared to what he would have earned simply by participating. The Sickers will form in that theoretical scenario. have a total of $ 144,322,905 for a list of 13 players who go to a free agency. Such a reduction in Harden’s salary They will be given enough space to sign the player with a mid-level exception that does not pay taxpayers (about $ 10.5 million) or the player’s extra move will probably be necessary for the Sixers to finalize the 15-man roster, as No Using the exception of the middle class taxpayers will put them under the rigors of a hard hat.

Another wrinkle to remember. Depending on how discounted Harden’s version is, the Sixers could also take advantage of the biennial exception, which was announced by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst on Wednesday. BAEcan be used twice a season to sign a player up to a minimum of two years above the minimum level while they are playing as a super team. The BAE is estimated to be worth about $ 4.1 million, based on current forecasts, a number that will allow the Sixers access to slightly stronger players than they would if they fill the list with the lowest paid players. And if they are limited to using non-tax MLE, there is no real drawback to using BAE this summer, except that it brings them closer to the apron than the minimum deal. Expect further financial shocks և list shocks if they go this route.

In the event that they release access through Harden’s refusal to make more mid-level contact, all of that talk of their interest in free agent PJ Tucker becomes more meaningful. Paying $ 10 million a year to a 37-year-old for three years would be very expensive, but money is not particularly important beyond what they lose in flexibility as a tough team. The only real difference between giving a free agent (Tucker or otherwise) the full average or part of it is the amount of money they will have left to potentially sign or engage someone else, no matter what it is right now. or later in the season.

All this, of course, implies that Harden is first of all going to return to Philadelphia. Throughout the season, Harden expressed his desire to be here for a long time on several different occasions, telling the media that he was happy to be here, that this was the place he wanted to be all the time. It is unlikely that Harden will be threatened with a direct away deal outside of this season, at least for teams that have a real chance to potentially run for the title next season. So while we have to wait for him to put the pen to paper, until now all the signs point in the direction of the Sixers, վերջին this last step shows Harden’s willingness to work with the team to recruit.

“It simply came to our notice then. But since I’m here, it was wonderful. “We just tried to build something so fast,” Harden said in an interview in May. “We tried to create a team contending for the championship so quickly that I still think we have just a few pieces missing.”

The success of Philadelphia next season will largely depend on where Harden is physically out of season to work on his body և game, որքան how big the difference is throughout the year of building chemistry. The good news for the Sickers is that no matter how new they were to the group, Harden was able to increase their attack դարձ to make the players better in that direction, starting with the very first game he played in the Sixers uniform. Harden’s chemistry with Joel Embid in the pick-and-roll, the ability to create open threes for teammates և sometimes the opportunity to score hit them at that end of the floor, where they showed the ability to simply outdo the teams. the best of them.

Building on that resolution will require further sacrifices from the entire group, including Harden. A well-paid star has to give up some of his habits in order to be the best option he can be for this team. Finding comfort as a “catch-and-shoot” option for Joel Embiid should be a top priority for Harden as he prepares for next season. around it. Defensive intensity for Harden increased during his first visit to Philadelphia, or the same could be said for the entire group, as the Sixers were too short for two-sided players as a group.

There is nothing more important than Harden simply restoring the outburst and athleticism he seemed to miss last season due to thigh problems that disrupted the end of the 2020-21 season in Brooklyn. The optimistic view of Harden is that he just needs more time, not seasonal work, to get his body back to where it was in Brooklyn before he took office. There were times in Philadelphia when you saw Harden’s hints, mostly when the Sixers’ schedule was broken so he had extra days off. Calm down or not, Harden’s ability to create a breakaway division will be carefully monitored next season, telling us a lot (or not everything) about what to expect from him in the years to come.

(Of course, it should be noted that Harden’s inability to land to score or facilitate was often the result of teams trying to put him under the wall, forcing the other Sickers players to beat them. will play: Participates in Harden’s appearance, even if he gets juice back at work 🙂

The pieces of the puzzle are beginning to come together, but the whole picture is not yet clear where we are sitting today. Wait for some free fireworks agency և get ready for this year of The Beard:.

This story is developing.

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