James Harden made it plain clear after the 2021-22 season that he wanted to stay with the Philadelphia 76ers in the future. Until recently, it was unclear whether that meant accepting his player option for 2022-23, signing a max contract, or something in between. “All signs point to All-Star guard James Harden returning to the Philadelphia 76ers on a shorter-term contract deal,” according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report.
Harden and Sixers management, according to Fischer, agree that Philadelphia has Harden’s greatest shot to win a championship, with Joel Embiid leading the way. He wrote, “Sixers ownership, though, has been resistant to the idea of giving Harden a full four-year maximum contract extension beyond his 2022-23 option season, sources told B/R, or the five-year deal that Harden would be eligible for if he chose to decline his $47.4 million player option for next season,”
Fischer also signaled that a two-year extension following the 2022-23 option “would also provide Harden with greater optionality for his own career.” According to the reports made by Fischer, “Harden is expected to pick up his player option for the 2022-23 season, But the Sixers’ further financial commitment to him remains to be seen once the legal negotiating period begins.”
Financial Benefits for James Harden
Harden can maximize his financial benefits if he signs an extension once six months have passed since his trade to Philadelphia, thanks to CBA regulations. The Sixers can currently only pay him 105 percent of his 2022-23 salary in the first year of a contract, with a 5% hike the following season, for a total of $149.3 million over three years.