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James Harden begins negotiations with 76ers

Apr 18, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden (1) reacts after a score against the Toronto Raptors during the first quarter in game two of the first round for the 2022 NBA playoffs at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Free agent James Harden met with Philadelphia 76ers management Saturday in the Hamptons to begin negotiating a new multi-year contract, Yahoo Sports reported.

The 10-time All-Star guard declined his $47.4 million player option for the 2022-23 season earlier this week.

He instead intends to negotiate a team-friendly deal that gives Philadelphia the financial flexibility to improve its supporting cast, multiple outlets have reported.

Harden, 32, would be eligible for a max contract worth more than $50 million per season if he inked a five-year deal, but the reports indicate he’s more likely to hammer out a two- or three-year contract with team president Daryl Morey and general manager Elton Brand.

Harden averaged 21.0 points, 10.5 assists and 7.1 rebounds in 21 starts with the 76ers this season after arriving in a trade-deadline deal that shipped Ben Simmons to the Brooklyn Nets.

A three-time NBA scoring champion and the 2017-18 league MVP, Harden owns career averages of 24.9 points, 6.8 assists and 5.6 boards in 942 games (728 starts) for the Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Nets and Sixers.

–Field Level Media