James Harden, a star for the Sixers, agreed to a $15 million pay cut this summer during NBA free agency. In an interview with Yahoo! Sports reporter Chris Haynes, he gave us an insight on his decision.
Harden said he spoke with the president of basketball operations Daryl Morey at the conclusion of the season about how the team could strengthen its squad. Details of Harden’s two-year contract are still being negotiated, but it is anticipated to include a player option in the second year.
His Exact Words
“I had conversations with Daryl, and it was explained how we could get better and what the market value was for certain players. I told Daryl to improve the roster, sign who we needed to sign, and give me whatever is left over,” Harden said. “This is how bad I want to win. I want to compete for a championship. That’s all that matters to me at this stage. I’m willing to take less to put us in a position to accomplish that.”
Sixers missed a great deal
The Sixers had the chance to sign defensive specialist P.J. Tucker for three years at $33 million and add rotation player Danuel House for $8.5 million over two years. Still, Harden decided against exercising his $47.36 million player option for the 2022–23 season.
Trevelin Queen, the 2021–22 G League MVP, was also a signee. In a trade that sent veteran Danny Green and the 23rd overall lottery pick, David Roddy, to the Memphis Grizzlies, they also acquired combo guard De’Anthony Melton.
“I think we have a much deeper team,” Harden told Yahoo Sports. “That’s something we wanted to address. If you look at our team now, we’re positioned to go a lot further. I like how we stack up with the rest of the top teams.”
The salary cap for the 2022–23 Sixers season is $123,655,000. They are paying a total team salary of $121,573,652 for the upcoming season, excluding Harden’s contract, thus there is still an opportunity for a deal that pays $2,081,348. Matisse Thybulle, who has been mentioned in speculations since last season, might be traded by Morey. Thybulle might be used to free up cap space this season because of his guaranteed $4,379,527 salary.