Holding tight and not holding out, James Harden plans to accept whatever salary the Philadelphia 76ers can afford when team president Daryl Morey deems his roster complete.
Harden opted out of the final year of his contract, declining $47.4 million in salary for 2022-23 in a decision he said came down to one thing: winning a championship.
“I had conversations with Daryl, 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 told 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.”
Harden said he’s pleased with the work Morey has done thus far in the offseason. He is in constant contact with All-Star Joel Embiid and said the duo discusses how to get the franchise to the championship level.
“I think we have a much deeper team,” Harden said. “That’s something we wanted to address. If you look at our team now, we’re positioned to go a lot further. I like how we stack up with the rest of the top teams.
“I talk with Joel frequently and we have meetings about how we’re going to play and what we need to do to help our team win a championship,” Harden said. “When you have two of the top players at their positions on the same team, that’s a great building block. We’re going to grow together and try to lead this team to the top. I believe we can do it together.”
A 10-time All-Star, Harden has played in the NBA Finals just once — in 2012 with the Oklahoma City Thunder — and since has been traded three times.
He turns 33 next month, but averaged 22.0 points, 10.3 assists and 7.7 rebounds per game last season between the Brooklyn Nets and 76ers, who acquired the former MVP in February.
–Field Level Media