Philadelphia 76ers star James Harden is poised to become one of the top NBA free agents this summer. However, 76ers’ coach Doc Rivers made it clear Harden is returning to Philadelphia on a massive multi-year contract.
Acquired from the Brooklyn Nets before the 2022 NBA trade deadline, the 76ers always planned to retain Harden. While the 32-year-old guard showed some signs of decline last season, the 2018 NBA MVP Award winner is still an integral part of the team’s recipe to compete for a championship.
- James Harden contract: $47.366 million player option for 2022-’23 NBA season
There is still some uncertainty about Harden’s specific plans this offseason. While the expectation remains he will opt-in on his current contract, he still holds the right to use the open market to generate a stronger offer from Philadelphia. Either way, his coach expects the All-Star guard back.
In an interview with TMZ Sports, Doc Rivers said Harden will sign a “huge deal” with the 76ers this offseason and he is extremely excited about spending another season working closely with a player he loved working with in the past few months.
- James Harden stats (Philadelphia 76ers): 21 PPG, 10.5 APH, 7.1 RPG, 1.2 APG
Harden has until June 29 to make a decision on the 2022-’23 player option and he is eligible to sign a four-year, $233 million extension this summer. However, Philadelphia prefers he take a slight discount.
Given Harden’s close bond with executive Daryl Morey, though, it’s very possible Philadelphia settles for the max contract and hopes it can retool the roster in other ways this summer.