After Kyrie Irving and Russell Westbrook at the beginning of the week, we were still awaiting the official decision of James Harden in relation to his player option, the deadline being scheduled for this Wednesday, June 29. She just fell. And contrary to what we could initially expect, the Philadelphia Beard chose to decline it. What does that mean concretely?
The news has just been released by Shams Charania of The Athletic on the blue bird. James Harden has therefore decided to say no to his $ 47.4 million player option, theoretically becoming a free agent but above all opening the door to a new contract with the Sixers with a lower annual salary. By declining his PO, the Bearded will not be one of the highest paid players in the Great League in 2022-23, but we are heading for an extension over several years. And that suits Daryl Morey’s Sixers, especially in the short term, since it gives them more breathing room for the upcoming Free Agency. We will come back to this a little later but while waiting to take a closer look at the options that are now open to Philadelphia, we would like to point out that Ramesse seems to have realized that he is no longer part of the category of max players in NBA. We are talking about an All-Star on the downward slope (22 points, 7 rebounds, 10.3 assists and 4.4 turnovers on average between Brooklyn and Philly, 41% shooting including 33% at 3-pointers), who has left the stage through the smallest of doors a few weeks ago with his disastrous Game 6 performance against the Heat in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Can he come back in shape next year to really shut up mouths? We may have some doubts but what is certain is that he is no longer worth the 47 million he could have collected in the 2022-23 season with his player option.
Philadelphia 76ers star James Harden is declining his $47.4 million player option for the 2022-23 season and intends to return on a contract in free agency that gives the team financial flexibility to bolster the roster, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 29, 2022
Once the new deal is signed, Harden and the Sixers will continue the adventure together to try to get an NBA title during the prime by Joel Embiid, and thus prove that this trade made against Ben Simmons in February 2022 was the best thing to do. Now, if we zoom out a little and get out of the Harden case, we can wonder what the Sixers have in store for us in the days ahead with the start of the Free Agency, them who recently traded Danny Green and their 23rd choice of Draft 2022 against De’Anthony Melton of the Grizzlies. We know it, Philly is all about PJ Tucker and would be willing to offer him a three-year, $30 million deal to add some champion DNA to the roster. With Harden declining his $47 million player option to soon take a new deal with a lower annual salary, Daryl Morey is now able to offer such a contract to Tucker through the mid-level exception to 10 million per year. And not only does Daryl have the mid-level exception on hand, but also the bi-annual exception (4 million) as Adrian Wojnarowski ofESPN. In the end, the message sent by Harden is very clear: “I’m willing to leave dollars on the table to give my team more flexibility to build the best possible roster around me, Embiid and Tyrese Maxey”.
As you have understood, Ramesse still does not have a champion ring on his finger and thus wants to maximize his chances with Philly, which today requires financial sacrifices. According to Shams, Harden would even have returned to training much earlier than usual during this 2022 offseason. Scary Hours?
Text source: The Athletic / ESPN
The opt-out could go a long way in reshaping the Sixers’ bench, including that full mid-level exception, $4.1M bi-annual exception and sign-and-trades.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 29, 2022
The sweet spot on a new Harden contract starts in the $37-38M range for this season.
That would give Philadelphia room below the $157M hard cap to use the $10.5M midlevel and $4.1M biannual exception.
Ex: 4 years/$166M with $10M guaranteed in year 4 for the salary he gave back. https://t.co/Y5oLnsk0Fl
—Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) June 29, 2022