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James Harden could receive $200 million contract in free agency this offseason

In February of 2022, the NBA community saw James Harden traded to the Philadelphia 76ers as part of a bigger trade package in exchange for two first-round picks, plus Ben Simmons and other moving parts. Now, after 79 games in a Sixers uniform, Harden could be set to leave Philadelphia.

Harden has a $35.6 million player option for the 2023-24 season, and there’s a sense the 33-year-old scoring/distributing threat can make even more on the open market.

According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, “there is an appetite” within the NBA for Harden to land a four-year contract worth north of $200 million this summer. The most the 76ers can offer Harden is a four-year deal worth $210.1 million. Meanwhile, the maximum amount another team can offer tops out at $201.7 million.

This means a team like the Houston Rockets, who have already been linked to the ten-time All-Star and have plenty of cap space (over $40 million), could become a viable contender for Harden if he favors a return to Houston on a team with the potential for a quick turnaround.

The Rockets have since hired Ime Udoka to lead the squad next season. The 76ers still need to find a new coach after moving on from Doc Rivers, who Harden reportedly took issue with. If the Sixers really are considering Mike D’Antoni, who is familiar with Harden from their days together on the Rockets, perhaps we see Philadelphia keep their core together for another shot at the title.

Related: Philadelphia 76ers rumors: Latest on James Harden, head coach search and more

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