What’s next for James Harden in his career with the Philadelphia 76ers? This will be the most talked-about situation after the team got sent packing by the Heat and the former MVP had a subpar series where he finished off with just two shots in the second half in Game 6.
When the Philadelphia 76ers made this season’s biggest move at the NBA trade deadline by trading three-time All-Star Ben Simmons for ten-time All-Star James Harden, many thought they would be in a much better long-term position to contend for a title.
Now, it doesn’t feel like it will go past this season. Harden did not deliver Philadelphia with a championship right away and it seems like they have a lot more questions to be answered now with James Harden on their roster compared to Ben Simmons.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst thinks there is no way that the 76ers will reward Harden with a max deal.
“I think at this point nobody in the NBA believes that the Sixers are going to give James Harden a max contract,” Windhorst said on Friday. “So the question is what is he willing to do? You could look at what happened with Chris Paul last year with the Suns. He opted out of a $44 million deal this year and actually took a $14 million pay cut and then is taking another pay cut next year with the theory that the Suns are going to be able to keep that championship-level team together. Is James Harden prepared to do that?
Or will he just opt-in and say, ‘I have a $47 million option, that’s what you’re gonna pay me.’ These are the questions that are going to happen over the next couple of months and I can tell you this: no matter what you think about Daryl Morey and his team building, Daryl Morey always thinks big and he will have a plan into this summer to improve this summer, but he may need James Harden on board with it and we’ll see how much Harden is willing to play ball.”
In 21 regular-season games with the 76ers this season, Harden averaged 21.0 points, 7.1 rebounds, 10.5 assists, and shot 32.6% from three-point range. In 12 playoff games this year, he averaged 18.6 points, 5.7 rebounds, 8.6 assists and shot 36.8% from deep.
The 76ers are now the third team he has played for in two seasons as he continues to try and win an NBA championship.