By Johnny Askounis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Taking a pay cut to re-sign with the Philadelphia 76ers is the case for James Harden.
Harden, 32, agreed to a two-year, $68.6M contract that includes a player option for the second season, as reported by ESPN. He will earn $33M the next season and the player option is worth $35.6M.
The 2018 NBA MVP had declined a player option worth $47.4M to become an unrestricted free agent. His intentions to re-sign with the Sixers and take a $15M pay cut to help in creating additional depth in the roster were both reported. The 1+1 contract, pending official confirmation, provides the opportunity to potentially become a free agent next summer as well.
“I had conversations with Daryl [Morey], and it was explained how we could get better and what the market value was for certain players. I told Daryl to improve the roster, sign who we needed to sign and give me whatever is left over,” Harden recently explained to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, “This is how bad I want to win. I want to compete for a championship. That’s all that matters to me at this stage. I’m willing to take less to put us in position to accomplish that.”
Flexibility generated by Harden’s decision assisted the 76ers president Morey in drawing both P.J. Tucker and Danuel House from the free-agent market and picking up De’Anthony Melton and Trevelin Queen. Head coach Doc Rivers indeed got more options heading to the 2022-23 season.
The ten-time NBA All-Star moved to Philadelphia via trade in February. Averaging 20.2 points, 9.8 assists, 6.6 rebounds, 1.1 steals, and 0.4 blocks per game made out his contribution over 33 appearances in the Regular Season and Playoffs.