James Harden, a standout for the Philadelphia 76ers, has turned down his $47.3 million option and will leave the team, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Wednesday.
Don’t fix what ain’t broke
Harden remains open the prospect of reaching a new agreement with Philadelphia that would grant the Sixers freedom to assemble their squad in the open market, including the right to utilize the entire $10.5 million exceptions.
Harden has expressed his desire to assist the franchisee in reshaping the roster toward championship contention in great detail in his meetings with the team since the end of the season, sources tell ESPN.
After his hugely successful eight-year career in Houston came to an end at the beginning of the 2020–21 season, Harden spent just one year in Brooklyn before being traded to the Nets for a load of future draft prospects to team with both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
Instead, the trio’s first season’s playoff journey ended in a loss to the eventual champion Milwaukee Bucks in the second round, which could be readily attributed to Irving’s sprained ankle and Harden’s battled hamstring ailment.
Then, following Irving’s inability to participate due to New York City’s COVID-19 vaccine rule, Harden’s relationship with the Nets declined last season. Eventually, Harden was traded to Philadelphia, where he met up again with Daryl Morey, Houston’s president of basketball operations.