James Harden has accepted a two-year deal to stay with the Philadelphia 76ers and will earn about $ 14.5 million less next season than he could have earned with his previous deal, a person familiar with the negotiations said Wednesday.
Harden will sign a deal worth just over $ 68 million, paying him about $ 33 million this season and with a $ 35 million player option for the 2023-24 season, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of maintaining the anonymity because the team did not announce the deal.
ESPN first reported the deal being finalized between the 76ers and the ten-time All-Star escort.
Harden had a $ 47.4 million option for next season that he turned down last month, saying he wanted to give the 76ers flexibility to improve their roster and compete for a championship. Returning so much money – Harden basically gave himself a 30% pay cut for next season – allowed the 76ers to make moves like the signing of power forward PJ Tucker and little striker Danuel House earlier this month.
“We’ve got some really good pieces this summer, so now it’s time for us to do the hard work,” Harden said in an interview with AP earlier this week to promote the upcoming release of a new wine label that bears his name.
Harden’s plans have been clear since the Philadelphia season ended: he pledged to stay with the 76ers and pledged to help them improve.
“I’ll be here,” Harden said May 12, when the Philadelphia season ended in a loss to Miami. “Yeah, I’ll be here. Whatever it does to this team, it allows this team to continue to grow and improve and do the things necessary to win and compete at the highest level.”
Harden is a three-time goal scorer and averaged 22.0 points and 10.3 assists during his time with Brooklyn and Philadelphia last season. The seven-time All-NBA player was the 2018 NBA MVP and is a member of the league’s 75th anniversary team.
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Harden, the 76ers agree to a two-year, $ 68 million deal
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